If you are reading this blog it is likely that you are strongly considering buying a property but you’re somewhat hesitant. Your apprehension is justified. We all know someone who bought a property only to discover a mound of hidden defects later down the line. Repair costs can rack up and make the difference between a bargain or a pricey purchase.
The RICS is aware of this and, in response, provide several surveys designed to inspect a property for any defects and issues so you, as a homebuyer, are aware of all potential costs that may come with buying said property. One of the pre-purchase surveys we recommend to potential buyers is the RICS Homebuyer Report.
So, what is an RICS Homebuyer Report?
An RICS Homebuyer Report provides an in-depth inspection of the property pre-purchase to try and find any issues which exist or may arise. The report itself is a clear and concise summary of the issues detected which categorises them in terms of severity from dangerous defects all the way too superficial and aesthetic defects. It is then made clear how the findings may impact the value of the property and what repairs and maintenance will be required to rectify the issues.
Information about the energy efficiency, environment and surrounding area of the property is also provided alongside any legal considerations that need to be taken with the purchase of the property.
It is important to mention that an RICS Homebuyer Report does not always contain a Valuation (although ours does), and furniture will not be moved, nor will floorboards will be lifted during the inspection.
The findings of a RICS Homebuyer Report will, of course, be different from property to property. However, to give you a good idea of what to expect within the report, I have made a quick list of the areas which are commonly covered.
What areas are commonly covered in a RICS Homebuyer Report?
- Amenities in the local area which are beneficial for the property, such as nearby train stations, schools, restaurants and such.
- The likelihood of flooding in the area the property resides in.
- The composition of the ground the property is built upon.
- The condition of the Chimney Stacks and flashing, looking for signs of lichen growth, weathering, discolouration or cracking.
- The condition of the roof covering, looking for signs of moss growth, lichen growth or missing tiling.
- The condition of the rainwater pipes and guttering, looking for signs of debris, water-staining or leakage.
- The condition of the external walls, looking for signs of moss growth, lichen growth, cracks, weathering or discolouration.
- The condition of the fences, looking for signs of instability, loose panels, weathering, moss growth, lichen growth or vegetation.
- The condition of the outdoor paving, looking signs of cracking or vegetation growth.
- The condition of the windows, checking their functionality and looking for signs of cracking or damp staining.
- The condition of the internal walls, looking for signs of cracking and damp staining.
- The condition of the flooring, looking for signs of creaking or lifting in the floorboards and staining on the carpet.
- The condition of the internal fittings, checking their functionality and stability.
- The condition of the doors, checking their alignment and the functionality of their locks.
- An assessment of the functionality of the electrics. This is often indicated by whether the electrical units are working.
- An assessment of the functionality of the gas. This is often indicated by whether the gas hobs work, or the heating if the hobs are electric.
- An assessment of the functionality of the water. This is often indicated by whether the taps are running well, and whether the water is heating up correctly.
- An assessment of the functionality of the heating. This is often indicated by turning the boiler on and checking whether all the heaters are working.
Those are a few examples of the many areas covered in the report and what detail can be expected. But, knowing this begs the question:
When do you need an RICS Homebuyer Report?
I already touched upon this question earlier on in this blog. Ultimately, walking into a house purchase can be scary as there is a lot of money at stake alongside a lot of unknowns. Having an RICS Homebuyer Report written up helps reduce the number of unknowns by highlighting any issues that may be present in the house alongside the benefits.
Knowing the information that comes with an RICS Homebuyer Report is beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it gives you the ability to rethink your purchase and consider the cost of undertaking these repairs before going forward. This peace of mind is favourable for a lot of buyers, and alone is enough of a reason to get an RICS Homebuyer Report done.
On top of this, the information gathered from the report can be used in negotiation. Once you have an idea of how much the repairs will cost to fix, you can ask for this to be taken off the price of the property. This works in many cases, and in others, the seller of the property will agree to make the repairs before you move into the property. As you have an RICS Homebuyer Report backing up your negotiation, you are more likely to walk out with a positive outcome.
In conclusion, if you are considering purchasing a property but you are unsure or worried about its current condition, we recommend you hire a surveyor to conduct an RICS Homebuyer Report. This report will clarify what issues exist within the property and how they can be repaired, which will inform you as to whether you should continue with the purchase and give you good means to negotiate the terms of the sale.
If you are looking to get an RICS Homebuyers Report done, or want some more information regarding your specific situation, feel free to contact us for 30 minutes of free advice on 020 7935 2502.