A Homebuyer’s Report is one of several different types of report that can be purchased by the buyer of a property. The report comprises a valuation undertaken by an approved valuer, usually a qualified member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Qualified members have the designation MRICS or FRICS after their name.

The RICS Homebuyer Report will include comment on the general condition of the property, a ‘market valuation’, a valuation ‘for insurance purposes’ (an estimate of the cost to rebuild) and may also include notes to the buyer about specific items requiring attention, maintenance or further inspection/assessment.

Most lenders have approved ‘panels’ of valuers. It is important to make sure that your surveyor is on the appropriate panel for your lender, otherwise the report will probably not be accepted.

It’s worth trying to instruct an approved panel surveyor in your local area who is familiar with the type of property you are buying and the local area. A local surveyor will usually be better placed to provide an accurate valuation as they’re valuing that type of property in the same location every week.

Whilst you will be required to pay the costs of a Homebuyer’s Report, it is usual for the lender to require a mortgage valuation anyway and so they may need to be named on the report also so that they can rely upon the surveyor’s advice. Your conveyancer will be able to advise you on this.

The lender is simply interested in making sure that the valuation indicates that the property is worth enough to satisfy their lending criteria (e.g. Loan to Value Ratios, etc). This does not necessarily mean that the property is worth the sum that you have offered and it certainly does not mean that the property is necessarily structurally sound. This is why a homebuyer’s report might be useful to make sure you are not buying ‘a pig in a poke’!

If your chosen property is older or more unusual then you’d be well advised to consider a more detailed ‘building survey’ also referred to as a ‘structural survey.’ It will look in more detail at the structural condition of the property you are buying but the terms and conditions of such a report are likely to vary from a Homebuyer’s Report.

In most cases, especially when buying a new home, a Homebuyer’s Report is considered sufficient.

Also see our Valuations and Surveys page for more details.

For a free protection check, please contact us on 01628 507477.

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