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Homebuyers survey cost guide

If you plan to buy a house, apartment or flat, read on to discover more about homebuyer reports, their cost, and the type of information you receive.

What is a homebuyer report?

Homebuyers’ reports are an excellent way to avoid unexpected repair costs. Designed to highlight structural or building issues inside and out, a homebuyer report informs the prospective purchaser(s) about problems such as subsidence or damp – before committing to the sale.

The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) provides plain English reports. Instead of technical jargon, their documents are concise and straightforward. An easy-to-understand traffic-light coding system classifies any defects that the surveyor discovers.

Does the homebuyer report cost include a valuation?

Sometimes, the RICS HomeBuyer Report cost includes a property valuation. If it suggests a lower price than the mortgage lender’s valuation, you might be able to reduce your offer. On the other hand, if your report does not indicate current local selling prices, you could use any suggested repairs to renegotiate the price.

homebuyer report cost surveyor working

Significantly, the report surveyor does not inspect under the floorboards or behind the walls. If the building is non-standard, particularly old or located in an area renowned for high subsidence, it could be worth commissioning a more detailed structural survey.

How much does an RICS HomeBuyer Report cost?

In effect, an HBR is a basic survey that is suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. Typically, in England and Wales, the average fee is £450 – or more for large properties.

In Scotland, the homebuyer report cost may be slightly higher and, notably, verbal offers form binding contracts.

What will my HBR include?

Every report includes:

  • Background data on the property and location.
  • An estimate of the cost of rebuilding the property, for insurance purposes.
  • An assessment of damp-proofing, drainage and insulation in the building (usually excluding drains).
  • The condition of the building’s timbers, as well as the results of checks for woodworm and rot.
  • Findings from damp tests on the walls.
  • Information about urgent problems that require specialist attention before buying.
  • Details of major faults in easy-to-reach parts of the property, particularly any loft space and the interior of the roof) that may affect overall value.

Why do I need a homebuyer’s report?

Purchasing a home is probably the most significant investment that people make. Prior to signing and exchanging contracts, therefore, it is advisable to detect possible problems with the property.

With an HBR, you can understand the implications of any issues of which you may have been unaware when you made the offer to buy the property. That way, you will enjoy peace of mind.

Get your local homebuyer report sorted today

What happens if the report surveyor finds a problem?

If the surveyor detects a problem with the property, he or she will provide details in the report. You will then be able to obtain estimates or quotations and budget for necessary repairs.

Some sellers might undertake to carry out urgent repairs before completing the sale. More often, however, buyers negotiate a discount from the seller. Significantly, in some cases, you could need the repairs to be complete before you move in.

Alternatively, some potential purchasers decide to opt for a more extensive (and costly) structural survey, also referred to as an RICS Building Survey. Nevertheless, after considering your options, you might decide to rethink your purchase of that property and walk away if it is not possible to arrive at a satisfactory solution.

Key points:

  • Homebuyer Reports (HBRs) provide useful information and list basic problems for standard residential properties.
  • Useful for making an informed decision when buying a home, HBRs also warn of potential issues with the building.
  • Sometimes, as a result, it is possible to negotiate a price reduction on the house or flat.

How do I organise an HBR?

To organise a homebuyer report for a new house or flat, please click here for details of recommended surveyors near you.

Get your local homebuyer report sorted today

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