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Everything you need to know about property inspections for surveys or valuations.
Our inspection of the property will depend on the type of service we have been instructed to provide.
A valuation includes a basic visual inspection of a property, designed to give our customer an opinion of value and in the case of mortgage lenders to assist them in deciding whether the property represents suitable security for the proposed loan.
The RICS HomeBuyer Report and RICS Building Survey are both surveys and are therefore more detailed in nature, providing a report for you as the purchaser. If you have a HomeBuyer or Building Survey then the description of what the surveyor can and cannot do is noted in the terms of engagement (this is the contract between us and sets out what we will and importantly what we won’t cover in the report).
We will need to access the main property, any permanent outbuildings and the roof space (depending on the type of inspection). We will only enter areas of the property where it is safe to do so. If a full inspection is not possible, we will advise of the limitation within your report.
During any inspection, be it a mortgage valuation, HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey, floor coverings will not be lifted. This applies to carpets, laminate floors and floorboards. All inspections are visual and no household goods are moved during any inspection.
If a loft inspection is required for your Mortgage Lender, where safe to do so, this will be undertaken. Loft inspections form part of our standard inspection on HomeBuyer Reports and Building Surveys.
Access to the loft is gained via the use of the surveyor's ladder; however, if there is a fitted loft ladder, and agreement has been reached to use this, the surveyor will enter this way.
If there is any reason why we were unable to inspect the loft we will confirm this in our report.
Services are not tested. We do not turn on boilers or test water pressure.
Within a HomeBuyer Report and a Building Survey, the services are visually inspected and commented on. If current test certificates are available, the surveyor will advise of this; otherwise the relevant condition rating will be given to that specific element of the property.
We will lift drainage covers, if safe and able to do so, and will comment on what can be seen. We do not, however, 'test' the drainage system.
It is usually the role of a solicitor/conveyancer to carry out the necessary searches in this area.
The time on site largely depends on the property type, size and condition.
A valuation inspection for mortgage lending purposes is a 'walk through' of the property by an experienced professional. The valuer will note matters as they move through the property. The valuer also undertakes research before and after the visit to the property, before forming their opinion of value.
Average inspection times are noted below but it should be noted these times could be exceeded on larger, more complicated properties: