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Property Buyer FAQs

Won't my lender's valuer assess the condition of the property?

Increasingly, lender valuers rely on digital data to assess the risk of the loan, without ever actually going to the property. Even if they do a physical visit, it will be a brief and incomplete review, and you probably won’t even get a copy of their report. The valuation is only intended for the benefit of the lender and they, too, will advise you to get independent advice about the condition of the home you are buying. 

The house is quite modern, so do I really need a survey?

While it’s true that a modern property could have fewer defects than an older home, in more recent years, builders have tended to cut costs which has resulted in defects appearing in newer homes more rapidly than they might have done in an older property. 

Only a thorough survey will give you the peace of mind to know what is, and isn’t, wrong.  

Will you remove the plaster and lift the floors to check underneath the surface?

RPSA surveyors work to the highest standards in the industry which means that every survey is based on a full and thorough inspection. To avoid causing damage, inspections are visual and non-invasive, so the surveyor uses his skill, knowledge and experience to understand the construction and pathology of the building, and to form a mental picture of what’s going on beneath the surface. 

You say the inspection is "full and thorough". How is that different?

Unlike, for example, a traditional Homebuyers Report, which is more of a tick box exercise based on a partial inspection, as far as they are able, RPSA surveyors, amongst other things, will check the operation of every window, and every tap, lift the manhole covers and flush the toilets.

The surveyor uses a range tools and instruments to see and measure as much as is reasonably and safely possible.

You’re buying the whole house and so our job is to see and review as much of it as we can.

What else do you check for?

Most important is for us to tell you about defects that will be expensive to repair. These might include damp, rot, woodworm, subsidence, settlement, structural failure, the inside and outside of the roof, walls, chimneys, heating, plumbing, electrics, drains etc.

Your surveyor might spend 3 or more hours at the property which means we have the opportunity to thoroughly check every part.  

* Pre-Completion Inspections of new build properties are based on different criteria and so do not refer to matters such as damp, rot, woodworm, subsidence, settlement and structural failure as these defects would not be present in a newly constructed property.

I’m buying a newly built home, what survey do I need?

RPSA members can carry out a Pre-Completion Inspection, often known as a “snagging” survey, on your new home before you move in.

Working with the New Homes Ombudsman, RPSA members have been recognised as having the skills and knowledge to provide you with advice about the quality of your new home.

Under the terms of the New Homes Code, the rule book that your house builder is required to comply with, you can commission an RPSA member to undertake a Pre-Completion Inspection on your behalf.

This will inspect those parts of the property that you will use, touch and see on day 1 in your new home, making sure they’re fit for purpose.