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What is a Single Survey?

Adele MacGregor

Written by

28th Sep 2021 (Last updated on 12th Apr 2022) 3 minute read

A Single Survey makes up one-third of the Home Report. This is legally required when selling a property in Scotland. It provides prospective buyers with information about the home. This allows them to make an informed decision on the property purchase.

It is the seller’s responsibility to provide a copy of the Home Report to all potential buyers. Single Surveys must be completed by a RICS registered surveyor.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Who Conducts a Single Survey?
  2. What Does a Single Survey Cover?
  3. What Does It Cost?
  4. How Long Does It Take?
  5. What Should You Look Out for as a Buyer?
  6. What Else Does the Home Report Include?
  7. Learn More About Surveying

Who Conducts a Single Survey?

The Single Survey is a visual inspection carried out by a RICS registered surveyor. This will include a valuation which is essentially the surveyor's take on how much your home is worth.

The Single Survey can give you an idea of how much to list your property for. Although it is the seller who arranges the survey, it is the surveyor who is liable if the findings within the report are inaccurate. It is therefore in their interest to provide a detailed and accurate report.

What Does a Single Survey Cover?

Your surveyor will report on the overall structure and key aspects of the property, providing an unbiased assessment of the home and its condition.

This includes:

  • Age of the property
  • Construction and materials used to build the property
  • Windows
  • Plumbing
  • Gas Mains and electricity
  • Roofing and gutters
  • External and Internal walls
  • Kitchen and bathroom fittings
  • Accessibility and wheelchair access to the property
  • Parking

Your surveyor will also provide details of any repairs that are required. It is up to the seller if you wish to address these issues and pay for the repairs, or if they wish to sell the property as-is. In this case, sellers may need to be prepared to accept a lower offer for the home.

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What Does It Cost?

According to RICS, the cost of a Home Report can range between £585 and £820. The cost will depend on the size and value of your property and the surveyor that you opt for.

For more information on the cost of selling a home in Scotland read: What is the Cost of Selling a House in Scotland?

How Long Does It Take?

The Single Survey itself will take place in the space of a day. Following the onsite survey, your surveyor will write up their report. The amount of time this takes will depend on the surveyor you hire but can be done in a matter of days.

What Should You Look Out for as a Buyer?

As a buyer, you should carefully read the information in the Single Survey before making an offer. The report will include information on the type, construction and age of the property. It will also review the neighbourhood it’s in and alert you to any urgent or future repairs needed.

If repairs are required on the home, you should consider this in your offer. Before buying a home, it is recommended that you obtain estimates for repairs. This ensures you are aware of the costs involved before committing to the purchase.

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What Else Does the Home Report Include?

The Home Report includes an Energy Report, complete with an EPC Certificate. There is also a Property Questionaire.

The Energy Report will assess the efficiency of the home. It will provide suggestions for improvements, including double-glazed windows, loft and wall insulation.

The Property Questionnaire is completed by the seller and must be accurate. It includes questions related to council tax, parking, accessibility and alterations to the home.

The seller must also list details of any information that would be useful to a potential buyer. This includes factors such as local authority notices or a history of flooding.

Learn More About Surveying

This is part of our guide to surveying. Next we explore the true costs of a house survey, including how much each survey type will be. To learn more read how much does a survey cost.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.