Valuations, homebuyer reports and building surveys
This report is normally requested by Building Societies and Banks who fund your property purchase. In Scotland it is normal for a Valuation or a Survey to be carried out prior to making an offer. If you are obtaining a Mortgage then your Funder will require a Valuation by one of their Panel Surveyors for their own purposes, to ensure that if the repayments are not made, then the outstanding amount of the mortgage will be covered.
If you are paying cash for a property and are not seeking a Mortgage you may wish to commission a Valuation Report to ensure that the purchase price is reasonable and that any major defects are identified by the Valuer. Valuations are also required during Matrimonial Disputes and Joint Ownership Disputes, for Capital Gains Tax Purposes, and Probate.
Often acting for County Courts as an Expert Witness, we are regularly instructed by Solicitors in these matters. Certificates for the Court of Protection, and Shared Ownership Valuations for Housing Associations and Part Owners are often prepared by Surveyline Surveyors who are fully qualified to carry out all of these Valuations. Contact us for a QUOTATION.
Surveyline Surveyors can carry out Re-Instatement Valuations to check on the level of rebuilding costs applicable to your Building.
The RICS homebuyer service is in a standard format and is designed specifically as an economical survey and is a cost-effective way to minimise risk.
The homebuyer report focuses on essentials: defects and problems which are urgent or significant and thus have an effect on the value of the property. The homebuyer report, unlike a building survey, provides not only a survey but also a Valuation as an integral part of the service.
This type of report is much more detailed than the mortgage valuation, which most people choose to commission, and is normally instructed by house/flat buyers for their own use giving them a direct link with their own Chartered Surveyor.
The surveyor's main objectives in providing the service are to give guidance on value and to assist the prospective home buyer to:
- Make a reasoned and informed judgement on whether or not to proceed with the purchase
- Assess at what price it would be reasonable to purchase the property
- Be clear what decisions and actions should be taken before making an offer to purchase
The surveyor will also give a professional opinion about the particular features of the property which affect its present value and may affect its
The report format is standard, compact, and easy to understand. It covers the building inside and outside, the services and the site. It focuses on the defects and other problems which the surveyor judges to be urgent or significant. It also covers:
- General condition and particular features
- Particular points which should be referred to your legal advisors
- Other relevant considerations concerning, for example, safety, location or perhaps insurance
Matters which are judged not to be significant are generally not included in the report but where necessary, the surveyor may also be able to provide some extra service which is considered outside the scope of the standard package - perhaps for a schedule of minor defects (for later discussion with a contractor).
The Building Survey used to be called a Structural Survey and is the most detailed of the three reports. It is recommended for pre 1940 dwellings or any properties which have been extended or altered. There is no standard form but all Surveyors have developed their own detailed report format.
The Surveyor will examine and report on Chimney Pots and Stacks, the Roof Cover, Soffits and Fascias, Gutters and Downpipes and look at all External Walls to see if there is any current evidence of settlement or subsidence.
The surveyor will examine Windows and external Timbers and endeavour to identify a Damp Proof Course. He will lift Inspection Chambers to examine the Drain Runs, advising on the necessity or otherwise of a drains test if there is visual evidence within the inspection chamber or around it , or on the Building, of drainage problems.
The surveyor will also examine the Site, identifying any visually apparent problems with the Boundaries. He will also advise if he considers that Trees represent a threat to the stability of the Building.
Inside the property the Surveyor will go into the loft, if access is available, to inspect the structure of the Roof, the Insulation, any Water Installation and examine Chimney Stacks, checking if there is adequate support. The composition of Ceilings may be noted together with the condition of any wiring found within the loft.
The Surveyor will then examine the underside of the Ceilings and check for signs of movement which may indicate roof spread, and then inspect all Internal Walls to see if there are any signs of Settlement or Subsidence. The Surveyor may recommend immediate remedial action, or monitoring of cracks within internal and external walls.
A Damp Test will be carried out to accessible ground floor areas. This can give an indication of whether subfloor timbers, which are not usually inspected where there are fixed floorcoverings, or if floorboarding has not been lifted, are at risk from dry or wet rot problems.
The Surveyor will then inspect Timbers, Plumbing, Electrics and Heating. If there are obvious problems here he may recommend specialist reports.
The report may culminate with a Schedule of Repairs on a separate page which you can hand to a Building Contractor to obtain a quotation for any works necessary before you exchange Contracts on the property.
The Building Survey can include a Valuation on the property, and a reinstatement value. Your Surveyline surveyor will discuss these options.
The Surveyor will confirm exactly what is and what is not covered under a Building Survey by confirmation letter when you ask for a quotation.