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Inspections and Surveys

Buying a Home: The Process The Guild 25th April 2017

Now that you’ve made an offer and it has been accepted, it is time to focus on the inspections that you as the buyer will need to commission on your new home.  

There are three main types of property inspection:

Mortgage Valuation 

Your lender may send a valuer to assess how much the property you are buying is worth and that it’s in reasonable condition. The valuation report will take note of the obvious, such as missing tiles from the roof, but it does not investigate whether there is a problem with damp, for example.

Homebuyers Survey 

The homebuyers survey, or report depending on which company you use, will establish whether the property is fit for sale. It will also identify whether there is any major repair work required. 

What surveyors look for:

  • Holes
  • Damp
  • Insulation problems
  • Crumbling wood and damage to timbers
  • Water pressures
  • Cracks


The survey can affects the market value of the property. The initial offer that you made is ‘subject to contract’, meaning the price could be re-negotiated after the survey.


Once the survey has been completed you will either:

  1. Proceed with the sale if the survey only resulted in minor concerns
  2. Renegotiate the asking price
  3. Stop the sale

Your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to give you more advice in this area. 

Structural Survey

A Building or Structural Survey is the most comprehensive inspection. A structural engineer or surveyor will actively search for potential problems and building defects. 

For example, things which are included in the inspection:

  • Evidence of subsidence
  • Evidence of woodworm
  • Hazardous material, such as asbestos
  • Altered or removed walls
  • Whether the necessary planning permission is in place for any DIY improvements

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