When a buyer shows interest in your property, their mortgage lender will send a surveyor to confirm its value.

To identify potential structural problems with the property and to check areas that the valuation survey does not cover, it is likely that your buyer will also request a RICS HomeBuyer Report (Level 2) or Buildings Survey (Level 3 Survey) from a local Chartered Surveyor.

A Chartered Surveyor will help you set a realistic asking price based on their findings. 

So you are aware of any potential issues, you may wish to commission your own surveyor when selling your property too. 

When your buyer’s house survey is underway, there are many ways to speed up the process and make it easier for the surveyor.

  • Ensure that items are kept away from areas that are prone to problems
  • Furniture should be moved away from exterior walls
  • Window sills should be free of plants
  • Make sure your home is tidy before the appointment

You may also wish to begin packing your belongings early, so that most of your prized possessions are out of the way, before viewers and Chartered Surveyors inspect the property.

Chartered surveyors are trained to spot potential defects, so if you know there is an area that could be of concern, let the surveyor know and allow them access.

Prior to marketing your home, you may want to repair any minor defects if you are concerned about the buyer’s survey results.

This could include:

  • Fixing dripping taps by replacing washers
  • Removing mould on your bathroom tiles
  • Filling any hairline decorative cracking

Does the garden need to be surveyed?

Before your house survey, it’s imperative to prepare your garden and any outside buildings, such as sheds and garages. When it comes time for the inspection, you don’t want to put all of your effort into clearing and cleaning your well-presented home, only to be let down by your garden.

Your Chartered Surveyor will inspect any plants and trees that may pose a danger to your property, especially if they suspect structural damage. A survey should include checks for plants such as Japanese Knotweed, which is notorious for causing problems for property owners in the UK.

In what areas will my surveyor not check?

During the house survey, your surveyor should inspect as much as possible. That’s why it’s crucial that the surveyor has access to all parts of the property. Often, parts of the inspection are prevented for the following reasons:

  • Heavy furniture blocking areas for inspection
  • Fitted floor coverings, such as laminate flooring
  • Drain covers causing issues – too heavy to lift
  • Loft hatches and doors being fixed closed or unable to open easily
  • Missing keys to windows and doors – all windows must be able to be opened during a survey
  • Limited access in the loft – if storage items or loft insulation restrict the view for the surveyor, this may hinder the survey
  • Inability to access garden sheds, garages and other outbuildings

Your surveyor may not be able to complete a full inspection of the property on the day if part of the property is restricted. If so, you may ask the vendor to make the necessary arrangements to allow you to revisit the restricted areas once they have been cleared, depending on the survey type. 

A surveyor may ask you to clear any restricted areas in your own home if he is unable to inspect your property fully.

Make sure you do not overestimate the value of any improvements you have made to your home – property values aren’t guaranteed, and your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it, in the end.

Taking the time to make your property look presentable will certainly make a good impression on surveyors if you prepare it for a survey. As a result, not only does it make their job easier, but it also helps you protect your home’s value.