Apr 1, 2019

It can be a daunting experience going through reams of paperwork before handing over your hard earned cash and having your conveyancer throw you phrases and words and jargon you that just flies over your head.

A document that you’re likely to come across during the legal stage of purchasing your property will be a Homebuyer report. It is a report that details the state of the property.

It is designed to give you a more in-depth and detailed review of the condition and highlight any problems that need rectifying before you complete the purchase.

The report can be loaded with jargon that you may not understand, so we have broken it down bit by bit to help you understand the important messages, beneath all the mess.

A Homebuyer report is a much more detailed inspection that a normal mortgage valuation. A mortgage valuation is as the name suggest, a document that highlights the value of a property and its characteristics. It also includes significant defects which might affect its value as security for the proposed loan. It’s a document that benefits the lender, more so than the home buyer.

A Homebuyer report gives buyers peace of mind knowing there is no major works or surprises. If there is, it gives buyers forewarning and the ability to iron these out with the sellers or obtain guidance from surveyors/tradesmen.

The cost of Homebuyer report will start in the region of £400 depending on the size and value of the property. The report doesn’t look past the floorboards or behind the walls – but can identify structural problems such as damp or subsidence which could save you money in the long run.

Once the surveyor has been around to the property you are purchasing, the report is normally received within a couple of days. Depending on the outcome, the report could leverage you the opportunity to renegotiate on price.

If there are defects in the property, it is worth the seller noting that these same problems could become discoverable to other buyers, so keeping an open mind to pricing with you is probably there best bet, in order to save time and money.

Always opt to go with a good surveyor, someone you can sit down with and speak to in case you need advice or need them to explain terms you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts for advice.

Below is a list of other reports you may come across or utilise during the purchase of your new property.

Type of survey

RICS Condition Report - £250

Describes the condition of the property, identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition; no advice or valuation is provided.

HomeBuyer Report - £400

This will help you find out if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.

RICS Building Survey - £400-£500

Provides the same level of in-depth inspection as a building survey, but uses a simple 1, 2, 3 rating system to ensure that you can easily identify the most serious issues. This is mainly aimed at larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works.

Full structural survey -£600

This is the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs.

New-build snagging survey - £300

This is an independent inspection to look for any issues with the property. Developers should fix faults highlighted before you move in.

Mortgage valuation survey - £150 to £1,500

This is to satisfy the lender that your desired property is worth the price you’re paying – or at least the amount it’s lending, before they approve your mortgage. It won’t point out repairs or structural problems that you will have to pay to fix.

All prices listed above are approximate.