Home Buyer Report

Introduced in 2009, this is a survey copyrighted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – our professional body. It follows a standard format and is a comprehensive yet concise survey, recommended for flats and houses built within the past 140 years, with a conventional structure. It will help you to make an informed decision about the wisdom of going ahead with your purchase, pointing out any problems which have a significant effect on the value of the property and need attention. You may be able to negotiate a new price if the survey shows up some costly issues.

It includes such details as:

  • a current market valuation
  • an estimate of how much it would cost to re-build so you can insure for the right amount
  • background information about the property and its location
  • any faults or problems which need addressing before a contract is signed
  • assessment of insulation, damp-proofing and drainage
  • evaluation of any timbers, checking for rot or woodworm

You will receive a summary and a full report. RICS surveys also give condition ratings using a “traffic light” system:

  • Condition Rating 3
    Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
  • Condition Rating 2
    Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be serious or urgent.
  • Condition Rating 1
    No repair currently needed.


Residential Building Survey

What used to be known as a structural survey and far more in-depth than a Home Buyer Report. It is suitable for any building, but particularly appropriate for those built before 1800, listed buildings and any with unusual construction or extensively renovated or altered – or indeed, if you have plans to do this after purchase.

Each report is carefully tailored to specific needs and before commencement, Robinson Elliott Surveyors and our clients will agree how extensive the survey should be depending on the building type, size and condition.

A building survey will examine in depth:

  • the general condition of all structure, fabric and finishes
  • outbuildings
  • boundaries, gardens and other grounds attached to the property
  • an overall impression of water services, electricity, heating and drainage

The report will reference any defects discovered and guidance on remedial measures, maintenance and can include the likely cost.

A rebuilding cost for insurance purposes is included as standard in our reports although these are normally outside the scope of the Building Survey.

Should you require it, we can include a market valuation for an additional fee.

Market Valuation

This is not a survey, simply a report on the estimated value of the property. We often carry these out for probate purposes, divorce settlements, tax issues or purchase of shared ownership.

Commercial Building Survey

Robinson Elliott Surveyors is able to carry out building surveys on commercial properties as well as residential properties. However, we would recommend a commercial specialist to offer more specific advice about value and the suitability of proposed premises for your business venture and investment.

Building Insurance Valuation

An inspection of your property to determine how much it would cost to rebuild. This will allow you to make sure you’re neither under-insured nor paying over the odds for your building insurance.

Building Defects Report

Whether you’re intending to buy a property or already own one and you have a concern about a specific defect – for example, damp, structural cracks or poor workmanship – this is the report for you.


A Mortgage Valuation is a brief inspection, typically lasting about 20-30 minutes, and is NOT a survey. It’s carried out on behalf of a lending company – a bank or building society – so they can make a decision about whether the property is a suitable proposition to secure a loan and, if so, how much.

It will give an estimation of the condition of the property, its value based on comparable properties in the same locality, and perhaps a ‘minimum reinstatement value,’ which is how much it would cost to rebuild it from scratch if the need ever arose.

As a purchaser, you may never see the report, even if you had to pay for it – it is purely for the lender.

Robinson Elliott Surveyors Ltd. is regulated by RICS