Telephone: 01565 722828

RICS HomeBuyers Report

A Homebuyers report consists of a brief inspection and brief report including a valuation, and is suitable for modern properties that are low risk of having serious defects. The inspection and report is not as comprehensive or detailed as a Building Survey, and is often prepared by General Practice or Valuation Surveyor, rather than a Building Surveyor.

I have stopped undertaking Homebuyers Reports; the latest versions of the format result in a report that is misleading and not fit for purpose, in my opinion. The R ICS have been poorly advised, and have turned the report format into one that uses tick boxes, and a scoring system, where each part of the property is scored out of three. Unfortunately the scoring is based upon need for urgent action, rather than seriousness or expense of remedial work. This can result in a report that would give a scoring of 3 (the worst score) to re-fix one slipped slate, and exactly the same score for the need for a complete reroof. Most purchasers want to know if there are serious defects, and whether there will be large bills for repair and maintenance work; they incorrectly believe that this is the way the scoring system works. The scoring system also requires the surveyor to go through a convoluted process to arrive at a score; this hampers the survey report process, as it uses up valuable surveying time.

I now suggest that my clients upgrade to a Building Survey, and I have lowered the cost of these as an incentive. The cost of my Building Survey is often as low, or lower than other firms RICS HomeBuyers Reports, because I do not charge VAT, I have low overheads, and I do not have to pay the RICS a licence fee for using their products. I have also introduced, due to demand, two new products, an Economy Building Survey, and a Home Appraisal Report, please see these sections on the web site.

Some lenders, estate agent, or brokers may recommend a HomeBuyers Report to you, as they may have a connection with the firm that will arrange the Mortgage Valuation, and this can be an add-on service. In my opinion this is best avoided, as you will know nothing about the surveyor, and probably have no contact with him. The surveyor will be whoever is available, may have little experience, or local knowledge. You should always speak to the surveyor before instructing him, so that he can advise as to what type of survey you should have. Surveyors who carry out valuations for lenders may not be Chartered Building Surveyors, they may be Valuation, General Practice, or other types of surveyors, they may not be well qualified to do Building Surveys. The HomeBuyers report may be recommended even though this is not appropriate, as your only contact would be with the lender, estate agent or broker.