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Property Surveying Blog
Written by Bradley Mackenzie

If you are purchasing a property, there are a number of steps that you will need to go through to ensure that your due diligence is done.

One of these steps includes having a Pre-purchase, or Pre-sale Survey undertaken.  One of the most common types of Pre-purchase Surveys that a homebuyer can undertake is an RICS Homebuyer Report.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has designed a Pre-purchase Survey for homebuyers that will ensure that a uniform and thorough inspection is undertaken in advance of the purchaser proceeding with the purchase.

The report itself with see a surveyor visit and inspect all areas of the property, whether it be:

  • the roof
  • the gutters
  • the external walls
  • the boundary fences or walls
  • any defects within the property
  • the windows
  • the doors
  • the services
  • the kitchen
  • the bathroom

In essence, no stone is left unturned and the surveyor will inspect pretty much every element of the house to ensure that the condition of those respective elements are then reported back to the homebuyer.

A homebuyer report also classifies defects in an easy-to-follow and understand traffic light system.

The traffic light system ranges from green to red, and generally speaking will point elements of the property that are in good order, to those that are in serious need of repair or replacement.

We will now look at the condition ratings in more detail.


Green; Condition Rating 1; CR1

This kind of classification means that the item that is being assessed is in good order, no repair is needed, however must be maintained in a normal manner.

Amber; Condition Rating 2; CR2

This type of classification means that the item being inspected has a defect that requires repairing or replacing.  However, it is worth noting that the defect is not considered to be serious or urgent.

An example of this could be minor decorative cracks to walls or ceilings, which generally speaking will appear at some point in time to all properties and just require general maintenance repair and update.

Another example could be spalling to the external brickwork, again this is a common defect however requires piecemeal repair for the duration of the property’s life.

Red; Condition Rating 3; CR3

Condition rating 3 is the most severe type of classification the surveyor can give the item he is inspecting.

In a nutshell, they will mean that the defect is serious and needs to be urgently repaired or replaced, or urgent further investigation is required.

Examples of condition ratings of 3 could be defective roofs, whereby tiles have slipped or cracked thereby allowing water to penetrate the structure beneath.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed, which could effectively scupper the sale and make the house un-mortgageable.

Subsidence, cracking or heave which would be some form of movement to the structure that could have an ongoing and costly implication to the buyer.

Homebuyer reports are there to ensure that property buyer is fully aware of exactly what he or she is purchasing, meaning that they can then proceed with the sale having the benefit of being fully informed.

If you are planning on purchasing a property and want to speak to a qualified and experienced RICS surveyor to discuss how a Homebuyer Report can be of benefit to you, give our experienced team of surveyors a call now and we will be more than happy to assist you.