Countrywide Home Surveys

A survey could help you save time, money and headaches

Take a survey when buying your next home which could help you save time, money and headaches

There’s no underestimating just how stressful, complex, emotive and downright confusing the homebuying journey can be, even for those who have been through the process more than once.

Within this journey, a lack of awareness can often culminate in a sale falling through or not even getting off the ground at all. A fact which was evident in new research from Zoopla which suggests that not understanding the homebuying process and key terms associated with it is putting around 2.2 million potential owners off buying a home.

To put this into some context, 43% of UK adults who don’t own a home do not feel confident in their knowledge of the homebuying process, of which 27% said that this unfamiliarity has stopped them from buying a home. In addition, 20% of all UK adults cannot confidently describe a mortgage, with 9% saying they do not understand any of 25 key terms relating to homebuying.

These are worrying statistics and while I won’t go into the 25 key terms, I would like to focus on an area which is all too often ignored but one which can alleviate many homebuying concerns including immediate or future risks, unforeseen costs, disruption and upset. And that is the survey.

From research of our own, we know that fewer than 1 in 10 homebuyers instructed a home survey with their recent property purchase. This worrying statistic of 9.7% includes those who took out a RICS Home Survey Level 2, RICS Home Survey Level 2 with Valuation and RICS Home Survey Level 3 and is applicable for purchases completed over the course of Q1 2024 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In terms of a survey split, the CSS Home Survey Trends Index for Q1 2024 showed that 61% of buyers commissioned the RICS Home Survey Level 2, with a third (33%) taking out a RICS Home Survey Level 2 with Valuation and 6% opting for a RICS Home Survey Level 3.

For those homebuyers electing for a RICS Home Survey Level 2 or a RICS Home Survey Level 2 with Valuation, the average property price for both survey types was £283,000 with an average £403 fee and £439 respectively. For those homebuyers selecting a RICS Home Survey Level 3, the average property price was £407,000 with an average £854 fee for this survey type.

For clarity, the RICS Home Survey Level 2 was previously known as the HomeBuyer Report and the RICS Home Survey Level 3 offers a more comprehensive structural overview which is ideal for old more complex buildings, listed properties, houses with obvious defects, and unconventional homes.

Working within the surveying sector, I wasn’t surprised by this data but many other people operating within the industry and beyond were. With the big question from these being why so low?

Unfortunately, largely due to a sustained lack of awareness, a survey is often viewed as an additional cost rather than an integral one. However, the thing homebuyers need to bear in mind is that opting for the right survey could actually save them time, money, and heartache.

There are very few excuses not to instruct a survey. After all, the ‘worst’ that can happen is that potential purchasers have gained additional confidence that they are buying a property which is in good condition. The ‘best’ outcome being that they can use this carefully collated evidence to dodge a potentially huge financial bullet and anywhere in between will leave them more informed and better positioned to renegotiate on price if necessary.

Sadly almost 90% of homebuyers continue to find these excuses. I urge you not to be one of them.

Helen Stead, Head of Countrywide Home Surveys, Countrywide Surveying Services

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Countrywide Home Surveys is a trading name for Countrywide Surveyors Limited, registered in England and Wales under company no: 01954031.  Registered Office 2nd Floor Boundary House, 4 County Place, Chelmsford, United Kingdom, CM2 0RE.  VAT number 500 2481 05

Countrywide Surveyors Limited is regulated by RICS for the provision of surveying services. This means we agree to uphold the RICS Rules of Conduct for Firms and all other applicable mandatory professional practice requirements of RICS, which can be found at www.rics.org
As an RICS regulated firm we have committed to cooperating with RICS in ensuring compliance with its standards. The firm’s nominated RICS Responsible Principal is Rebecca Freeman, Director of Field Operations, contact 01332 813096.

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