Valuation, HomeBuyer Report, or Survey? What’s the difference, asks Alastair Woodgate of Rumball Sedgwick, St Albans

Alastair Woodgate, a Chartered Surveyor with leading surveying and estate agency firm Rumball Sedgwi

Alastair Woodgate, a Chartered Surveyor with leading surveying and estate agency firm Rumball Sedgwick is the man to ask, as his team regularly carries out all three for private and corporate clients. - Credit: Archant

Are you confused about Surveys, Valuations and HomeBuyer Reports when buying a home? Don’t be.

I am often asked to explain the difference between Surveys, Valuations and HomeBuyer Reports. I start by advising clients that whichever option they choose, they should consult an experienced Chartered Surveyor for impartial, professional advice, that could save them money in the long run. After all, buying a home is usually the biggest investment any of us make.

As chartered surveyors we are qualified to act on behalf of the banks and building societies that lend money to buyers to help them buy their property. The report for the mortgage lender is a Valuation which, put simply, is a brief inspection of the property to satisfy the lender that it is in reasonable condition and that it is worth the money they are lending you.

However, if you want a detailed report about the property, you need either a HomeBuyer Report (with valuation), or a Building Survey. Both are looking for defects or problems, but they differ in style.

For most properties built since 1900, a HomeBuyer Report is the most cost effective option: it is a concise report detailing any problems that could affect the property’s value providing you, the buyer, with enough information to help you decide whether or not to proceed with your purchase.

A Building Survey is more comprehensive, suitable for older properties or those for renovation or of unusual construction. It will give a comprehensive breakdown of any issues and actions that you might need to plan and budget for.

A professional valuation or survey from Rumball Sedgwick will help you make an informed decision.