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Your Local Surveyor

Bury St Edmunds – 01284 337180

Cambridge – 01223 656290

Holt – 01263 800145

Ipswich – 01473 350095

King’s Lynn – 01553 600860

Lincoln – 01522 308054

Newcastle – 0191 7317610

Norwich (Head Office) – 01603 751577

Peterborough – 01733 907830

Sheffield – 0114 553 9560


A clear guide to Home Surveys

There are effectively four main types of survey. Reliable and cost effective, these reports carry the full weight of the RICS, the industry’s most respected authority on surveying.

All of our Chartered Surveyors and Registered Valuers are fully RICS qualified. Dotted along the East Coast from Clacton to Newcastle, each surveyor has a thorough knowledge of their local area, common property problems, as well as current market values.

Buying a home

It is important to remember that your mortgage lender’s valuation report is not a survey. It merely tells your lender whether or not the property is reasonable security for your loan. A home survey will tell you the actual condition of the property. This information can be invaluable during price negotiations, and will help you avoid costly surprises after you move in.

Selling a home

A home survey can also help you prepare for selling your property. It will show you any problems that may delay your sale or cause price reductions later in the process.

Staying at home

A home survey of the current condition of your home will warn you of defects and help you avoid escalating repair and maintenance costs in the future. It will also be very useful if you ever think of remortgaging.


RICS HomeBuyer Report

Choose a RICS HomeBuyer Report if you would like more extensive information whilst buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common materials and in a reasonable condition.

The report includes:

  • All of the features in a Condition Report;
  • Our surveyor’s professional opinion on the market value of the property;
  • An insurance reinstatement figure for the property;
  • A list of problems that our surveyor considers may affect the value of the property;
  • Advice on repairs and on-going maintenance;
  • Issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions;
  • Legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your conveyancing, and
  • Information on location, local environment and recorded energy efficiency (where available).

This report includes a more extensive inspection of the property.


RICS Building Survey

You should choose an RICS Building Survey if you’re dealing with a large, older or run-down property, if the building has been significantly altered or if you are planning major renovation works. This is a more in-depth report and includes details of the structure and fabric of the property.

The report includes:

  • A thorough inspection and detailed report on a wider range of issues;
  • A description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws;
  • An outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity, and
  • Advice for your legal advisors and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions.

An RICS Building Survey does not include a valuation. Estimated costs of repairs may be included as an option.


Watsons Building Survey

This is a survey that is tailored to meet your precise needs. The report is similar to an RICS Building Survey, but is presented as a free-text report with photographs; especially useful for older or larger properties. This is our most in-depth report and includes details of the structure and fabric of the building.

Our Building Survey examines all accessible elements, but you can request that specific areas are included to cover any particular concerns you may have.

The report includes all the features in an RICS Building Survey, plus a more extensive inspection. In addition to this, a valuation and insurance reinstatement figure are provided as well as, if requested, estimated costs of repairs. A Watsons Building Survey will aim to provide you with all the information you need in order to make a purchase decision and will suit any domestic residential property in any condition.

There are also additional reports we can help with:


Watsons can provide a valuation of your property which may be needed for a variety of reasons, including secured lending purposes, sale, probate, litigation, property development or taxation. With our property expertise and local knowledge, you can be sure that the valuation you receive is a true reflection of the current market.

Both a valuation of your purchase and a Rebuilding Cost Assessment for insurance purposes are normally, but may not be, included in RICS HomeBuyer Reports. We also provide property valuations for mortgages and any other purposes.

Our valuation survey incorporates the following factors:

  • Insurance.
  • Tax.
  • Matrimonial.
  • Probate.
  • Commercial.
  • Shared ownership.
  • Social housing.
  • Rent review.

New Build Snagging

If you’re buying a brand-new property, we can assist with a snagging, or Schedule of Outstanding Work report, once the sale has been completed

“It is your housebuilder’s responsibility to check and fix any cosmetic defects before you complete on the sale, but it is unlikely they are going to pick up on everything.”

A snag is a small defect or problem that remains in your property after the building work has been completed. It is typically something that is damaged or broken; not fitted properly or looks unfinished – think of a scratch on a window or a missing hinge on a door.

Specific Defect Analysis

Our Specific Defect Analysis focuses solely on major issues. It is particularly intended to investigate possible causes for a particular issue, as well as implications and recommendations as to remedial work. The Specific Defect Analysis will be a relatively brief document which confirms the surveyor’s findings and outlines the remedial work(s) that will be required. Whilst this report is particularly useful for establishing the extent of a specific issue without having to undertake a full Building Survey, it cannot be seen as a substitute and will not cover any defects outside the scope of the client’s instructions.

Get the right advice…

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of having a survey carried out. While this may add to costs, it really is an investment for the future, and can avoid the need for significant unexpected expenditure at a later date. At Watsons we offer a personal service tailored to the individual needs of our clients, and have the expertise you need to be confident that you’re receiving the right and best advice. The recent expansion of our surveying services into Sheffield, Derby and surrounding areas in the North East, means we can bring high-quality surveying to more customers than ever before along the East Coast.

For further information about our services or obtain a quote, please call our team on 01603 751577 or email

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