Home Surveys

A home survey, previously known as the home buyers survey, is a health check for residential properties. The survey informs the commissioner of any issues with the property before its purchase. This report goes a long way to ensure the buyer is comfortable with their purchasing decisions.

Issues highlighted in the report may enable the buyer to renegotiate the sales price to offset it against the cost of repairs (as demonstrated by the report). Alternatively, they may even decide not to buy the property if the issues uncovered are serious enough. As such it is highly recommended to obtain a home survey report before buying a property.

In most cases, it is the buyer who commissions the home survey, but that is not always the case. A home survey can also be helpful for home owners who would like to better understand the condition of their property and any significant defects. This could be particularly useful if they are thinking of selling or if they are planning to stay in their property long term.

A home survey can help the seller make an informed marketing pitch, help secure the agreed price and protect the sale. In fact, in Scotland the law requires sellers to commission and obtain a Home Report which is made available to potential buyers; this report includes a single survey, property valuation, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and property questionnaire.

As the world’s largest professional body for chartered surveyors, RICS members offers confidence in providing home survey reports because:

  • they give you clear, impartial and expert advice
  • they are regulated and have strict rules of conduct to protect you, as well as holding appropriate professional indemnity insurance
  • they have to update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers, so you can rely on their expertise
  • you are further protected by RICS’ complaints service and access to independent redress

Read our glossary for RICS Home Surveys for more information

Find a RICS surveyor to help you buy a home