What type of survey should we have? This is a question many house buyers ask when choosing a survey, puzzled at the assortment of terms, including Building Survey, Homebuyer Report, Condition Report, and more.
Putting terminology aside, what do most buyers want from a survey? A typical house buyer would want to be aware of any repairs needed, the urgency of any repairs and have an idea of costs involved.
Some buyers choose a property knowing that works will be required and the survey will help them plan the works and obtain estimates from contractors. After all, there is little point going ahead with fitting out a new kitchen or decorating when more disruptive works such as rewiring need to be attended to first. On the other hand, some buyers seek a property which needs as little work as possible (although, inevitably it is likely that some work will be necessary).
Whatever the name of the survey, it is important to check what will be included. Most pre-purchase surveys have a similar level of inspection, but the information within the report can vary from one surveyor to another. This can be due to the level of knowledge and experience of the surveyor and the amount of time spent carrying out the survey and preparing the report. Some firms place high demands on their surveyors and expect two (and sometimes more!) surveys to be carried out in a day, whereas other firms allow more time for each survey and are more likely to produce a more thorough and detailed report (which may be reflected in the cost).
In a nutshell, when choosing a survey, the name of the survey report does not really matter. The most important thing is to check what your report will cover and make sure it will provide the information you are looking for. And most importantly, make sure you choose the right surveyor, ideally someone who has been recommended to you and is familiar with the local area.