Choosing a surveyor and type of survey checklist


Checklist provided by

The Residential Property Surveyors Association

Why we work with RPSA

Useful articles:

What should I pay for a survey?

Which survey is right for you?




Check the surveyor is a member of a professional association such as the Residential Property Surveyors Association or the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors

There are four main types of report:

  • Mortgage valuation - not a survey, done for the lender
  • Homebuyer Report - a simple report suitable for most properties which may include a valuation
  • Home Condition Survey - suitable for most properties and including photographs for clarity
  • Building Survey - a comprehensive inspection and report for all property types

Make sure you have a mortgage valuation AND a Homebuyers Report, Home Condition or Building Survey.


The mortgage valuation is just for the lender and you cannot claim against the surveyor if there is anything wrong with the property


For most modern homes in a reasonable condition your mortgage valuation and a Home Condition Survey should suffice. For older or more complicated homes, or those less well cared for, combining the valuation with a Building Survey is often a good choice


Make sure that, as well as receiving a copy of your survey report, you can talk to the surveyor face to face or over the phone to go through any problems.


Before the survey, give the surveyor a list of your particular worries or concerns so they can check them for you.

Organise your survey.

You can ask to meet your surveyor at the end of their inspection to go through any problems, but you should check that the owners of the property know you will be going.

Send a copy of your report to your conveyancer.

Check what the costs will be to fix any existing problems.

Work out what costs you will incur for future fixes, for example, the flat roof may be 10 years old and need replacing in five years.

Armed with a comprehensive survey report, you may be able to negotiate money of the price of the property to pay for existing or future works. For example, if the flat roof is at the end of its life you can ask for some money off to contribute to the cost of the new one.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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