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How to Find a RICS Surveyor

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Mike Ashton

2nd Jul 2019 (Last updated on 23rd Aug 2022) 6 minute read

Once you’ve found a house or flat you want to make an offer on, you’ll need to find a surveyor to carry out the correct type of property survey.

The best way to find a surveyor is by comparison websites or recommendations that you trust. You should only choose a RICS regulated surveyor to ensure you receive a high standard of service.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Choosing a Surveyor
  2. Where to Find a Surveyor?
  3. When Do I Need a Surveyor?
  4. What is RICS?
  5. Learn More About Surveying

Choosing a Surveyor

Knowing where to begin when finding a chartered surveyor can be challenging. Here’s some things to look out for when choosing a surveyor.

1. Regulated by RICS

You should only hire a chartered surveyor that’s regulated by RICS. They will be fully qualified surveyors, giving you peace of mind throughout the survey. Use the search tool on RICS to ensure your surveyor is accredited. For peace of mind, all Compare My Move’s surveyors are regulated by RICS.

2. Experience

Before choosing your surveyor, it’s important to learn of their experience, which is usually listed on their website While a newly qualified surveyor can still do a great job, you might require a surveyor with an in-depth or wide variety of experience for your survey. You could ask them for more information on their surveying experience and services for further peace of mind.

3. Recommendations

Ask your family and friends if they can recommend a surveyor that they’ve previously used. You can trust your family and friends to only put you in touch with a trusted surveyor. You’ll be reassured knowing that they did a good job for someone you trust.

4. Price

You should be wary of surveyors offering their services for too high or cheap. There is a good chance there could be hidden fees or you could have been overcharged. Many people opt to go for the middle ground and compare surveying costs to get an average quote

5. Reviews

It’s important to check the surveyor’s reviews before you make a decision. Look for a company that has mainly 5-star reviews. It goes without saying, you should avoid companies that have generally bad reviews as this gives an indication of the service they offer.

6. Local Area Knowledge

It’s always recommended to hire a local surveyor who will have good knowledge of the local area. Many large surveying companies have surveyors based all across the UK, and while they still offer a good service, they might not be familiar with the history of the properties in your area.

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Where to Find a Surveyor?

Finding the right surveyor when you’re buying a house will give you peace of mind throughout the process. Below we list the best methods to find a reliable and verified surveyor to help with your house purchase.

1. Comparison Websites

Using a comparison website to find a surveyor is the safest way to go about it. You’ll be provided with a few choices of chartered surveyors to take your pick from. When you’re looking for a surveyor, Compare My Move will connect you with up to 6 surveyors so you can compare surveyors' quotes, getting the best possible price for the survey.

2. Local Surveying Companies

It’ll make more sense to choose a surveyor that is local to you. They will have more knowledge of the local area and could come in handy if you’re buying a listed building or a less conventional property.

3. Independent Surveyors

You’re likely to get a better service for your surveying cost if you pick an independent surveyor rather than a large company. Big surveying firms are carrying out hundreds of surveys a day and will lack a personalised service, whereas an independent surveyor will take the time to get to know the property and your situation.

It's usually best to have your own ‘independent’ expert who is not related to the transaction and is truly ‘independent’ of the sale. Many of the larger firms rely on successful sales to help them sell related services, such as mortgage valuations, insurance and conveyancing and have reciprocal work-sharing arrangements with other large firms offering these services.

4. Specialist Services

If the property you’re going to be buying has complications or requires specific specialist care and knowledge, you can narrow down your search for a surveyor. If the property has a damp problem, see if your surveyor can also offer a damp survey, too. This won’t always be possible, but it’s always a good idea to talk to the surveyor and see if they can pay particular attention to any specific concerns that you have.

5. Mortgage Adviser/Lender

Your mortgage adviser or lender usually has a list of surveyors they work with. They can recommend one of these for you or you have the choice to find yourself. These surveyors are typically large UK companies with surveyors based in many locations.

When Do I Need a Surveyor?

The buyer will need to organise a property survey soon after your house offer has been accepted. The type of survey you'll need will depend on the property type:

If the property you’re buying is a new-build - You will need a snagging list if you’re buying a new build home. There shouldn’t be major issues as the house hasn't been previously owned, so there isn't always a need for a traditional property survey, although many people also like to arrange a Condition Report just to be sure and pick up on any significant matters that sometimes arise.

If the property you’re buying is conventional and fairly new - You will usually need a home Condition Report if the property is modern, recently built and remains in a good condition. This survey is the most basic and will tend to focus on any key areas of significant concern, but will leave out much of the detail of the other reports where it doesn’t apply.

If the property you’re buying is less than 50 years old - You will probably need a HomeBuyer Report if the house you’re buying is relatively new, built with modern and common materials. This is the most common survey, it’s also cheaper than a building survey.

If the property you’re buying is over 50 years old - You will need a Building Survey if the house you’re buying is an older or listed building that needs or has had major renovation work. This is the most comprehensive survey as it will carry out an in-depth assessment of the house.

To learn more, read types of house survey.

What is RICS?

RICS, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is the official body that monitors and regulates chartered surveyors. You should only hire a surveyor that is regulated by RICS so you have peace of mind that your survey will be carried out by a qualified and experienced professional.

You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of finding a RICS surveyor for your house purchase. RICS will be responsible for the regulation and conduct of its members, meaning they should take action if you were to complain about your surveyor’s behaviour.

Learn More About Surveying

This article is part of our guide to surveying. Next we'll look at the cost of a survey. To learn more read How Much Does a House Survey Cost in 2022?

Save on Your Property Survey

Speak to a RICS Surveyor Today

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

Mike Ashton

Reviewed by Mike Ashton

Director, Cambridge Building Surveyors

With over 20 years of experience in the property surveying industry, Mike Ashton is now the director at Cambridge Building Surveyors.