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How Much Does a House Survey Cost?

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
21st November 2019 (Last updated on Monday 13th January 2020)

A property survey can cost anywhere between £350 to £2,500 depending on the survey type, the value and size of the property and the location. Of course, this is just a guideline of survey costs, your own situation and the surveyor you choose will also determine how much you pay for your property survey. But to help you with your research, we've taken the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies from across the UK. 

You should remember to factor in your house survey cost when planning your moving house budget, to avoid an unexpected bill during the process. It’s often essential to get a property survey before buying the house to highlight any major defects that the property might have, and to help calculate any potential repair costs that might be needed.  

This article will cover the following points

How Much Does a House Survey Cost in 2020? How Much Does a Mortgage Valuation Cost? How Much Does a Condition Report Cost? How Much Does a Homebuyers Survey Cost? How Much Does a Building Survey Cost? Is it Worth Getting a Survey on a Property? Are There Any Other Costs Involved? What Type of Survey Do I Need? Save on your Surveying Costs

How Much Does a House Survey Cost in 2020?

Your survey cost will vary depending on the type of survey, the size and value of the house and its location, too. We collected a sample of fees from RICS Surveyors across the UK to put together a selection of typical costs. The table below should be used as a guide for average valuation and survey costs according to property value. The true costs may fluctuate depending on area and the size of the property. Always request an upfront quote for your property survey

Property ValueValuation ReportCondition ReportHomebuyer ReportBuilding Survey
Up to £100,000£220£290£380£630
£100,001 to £200,000£280£290£420£700
£200,001 to £300,000£320£380£500£800
£300,001 to 400,000£370£400£570£900
£400,001 to £500,000£420£420£640£990
£500,001 to £600,000£490£470£740£1,120
£600,001 to £700,000£520£500£790£1,180
£700,001 to £800,000£570£520£860£1,270
£800,001 to £900,000£610£540£920£1,340
£900,001 to £1,000,000£640£560£980£1,390

Compare My Move took the average costs from a sample of 20 RICS Chartered Surveyors and Building Societies across the UK. Please note that the cost of your survey may vary depending on area or other factors.

How Much Does a Mortgage Valuation Cost?

A Valuation Report can cost around £320 for the average property in the UK, though costs can be as low as £160 and as high as £600. The cost of the valuation is relative to your property value.,

It should be noted that a valuation report or a mortgage valuation are not property surveys. The valuation won't look for hidden defects, a mortgage valuation will only confirm to your mortgage lender that the property is worth, in fact, the amount they are lending you.

How Much Does a Condition Report Cost?

condition report (level one) survey for the average UK home can cost around £380. The cost of a RICS condition report is relative to your house price and size, so depending on your house price you could pay on average between £290 to £560 for the survey. 

The level one condition report is the most basic RICS survey, and is therefore the cheapest. This survey will grade the various elements of the property with a condition rating of either 1, 2 or 3, and will only state if the house needs any urgent repairs.

The condition report will highlight any urgent issues with the house, but won’t offer advice on the value of the property. This survey is mainly suited for new build homes that are in good condition, as the survey isn’t very in-depth.

How Much Does a Homebuyers Survey Cost?

A RICS level two HomeBuyers Report for the average UK home can cost around £500, though you may pay between £325 and £900 depending on the size of your home and your location. 

You will need a homebuyer report if the house you’re going to buy is a new build or relatively modern, fairly conventional, and built with common materials.

If your homebuyer report discovers any damage or problems with the house, you will have the chance to negotiate a lower price or you could walk away from the sale, avoiding any risks and expensive repair costs.

How Much Does a Building Survey Cost?

A RICS level three Building Survey for an average UK property can cost around £800, though can be as cheap as £630 and as expensive as £1,200. A building survey is the most comprehensive survey of all the survey types, and provides an in-depth examination of the structure and condition of the home. 

Like all surveys, your survey cost will come down to the price of the property, and the amount of time spent surveying the home and preparing the report. For that reason, many surveyors will be happy to charge an agreed rate per hour instead of a flat rate for the report.

You will need a building survey if the property you plan to buy is either an older building, one that was constructed with unusual materials, is in poor repair, or if it's a listed building. A building survey cost may seem expensive, but it will be able to highlight many hidden defects that could cost you thousands to repair after you’ve moved in.

Once your offer has been accepted, you should arrange the building survey. It gives you a chance to back out of the sale without having to risk losing your deposit if the survey discovers expensive repairs. Keep in mind that a building survey does not include a valuation. If your surveyor is also an RICS Registered Valuer, you can usually ask to have a valuation done alongside the survey report, but it's likely to cost you around £50 extra. If you require a valuation for your mortgage agreement, check with your lender beforehand to ensure they will accept this type of valuation. Remember to use our free moving checklist to help you prepare for all costs during your move.

Is it Worth Getting a Survey on a Property?

It is always worth getting a survey done when you’re buying a property, not only to receive expert advice from a RICS regulated surveyor, but a property survey can also save you a lot of money in the long run. You can also use your property survey to negotiate on the house price if the report brings back negative results.

In a study conducted by Which? it was discovered that 26% of the 1,205 buyers surveyed compromised on the price after they received survey results. Many of these people regretted not  compromising on certain issues with the seller to complete the transaction, such as the property’s structural condition. Out of the 13% who overlooked the serious issues to continue with the purchase, 30% later regretted the decision. They later realised that the condition of the property would eventually mean losing money in repair work and so they wished they had negotiated on the price to cover the costs.

When you get a property survey, your surveyor will highlight any major issues they have found, giving you the opportunity to completely pull out of the sale as your offer will be Sold Subject to Contract (STC). This ensures that you don’t regret the purchase or any of the compromises you’d have to make, like many of the respondents in the survey above. You could even renegotiate the offer you submitted to cover the costs of the repairs identified. 

In a previous study, RICS discovered that 4 in 5 homeowners bought a property without having a property survey first. These buyers then went on to spend on average £5,750 in unexpected repair work. You can easily avoid these surprise costs by hiring a verified surveyor to inspect your property. You can then determine if the property is worth the investment and the necessary repair costs identified. It gives you time to plan and budget for the work as well as provide evidence to negotiate on the price. 

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said, “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them, consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb." King continued by stating that "this can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.”

Are There Any Other Costs Involved?

In most cases, you should only have to pay for the survey itself, along with any necessary repair costs that have been highlighted, unless you agree for these to be attended to by the vendor as a condition of the sale.

If certain problems are suspected or identified, your surveyor may recommend that you get a further specialist survey - these surveys will be much more specific and only focus on the issue at hand. For example, for properties that have serious damp issues, a damp survey may be recommended to tackle to the problem.   

It's important to remember that your property surveyor will usually not be a structural engineer, electrician or plumber, so they may recommend asking a specialist for alternative opinions and advice on certain problems. These will only be for specific issues and the option is entirely up to you. If you decide to take their advice and have a follow up inspection, then you'll have to cover the added costs. Your surveyor should only recommend these if they believe a real risk might exist and the cost of the specialist inspection is justified.

What Type of Survey Do I Need?

The type of property you’re going to be buying will affect what type of survey will best be suited to you. Here’s a breakdown of each survey and the type of property it's best suited to, helping you to decide what property survey you need.

Condition Report (Level 1)

  • Mainly for new build homes.
  • The most basic and least in-depth survey.
  • Ideal if you just want a straight-forward condition rating.

Homebuyer Report (Level 2)

  • Suited for most modern property types.
  • Designed for properties that are in good condition.
  • Designed for properties that were made using common materials.
  • Not as in-depth as a building survey.
  • More comprehensive than the condition report.

Building Survey (Level 3)

  • Suited for older or listed buildings.
  • Designed for properties that have had, or plan to have, extension or renovation work carried out.
  • Suitable for properties in poor condition
  • Designed for properties built using unusual materials.
  • The most comprehensive survey, and usually the most expensive

Comparing Different Property Surveys

Condition ReportHomebuyers SurveyBuilding Survey

What property type is it for?

New build properties or properties that are under 5 years old

Any type of property that isn't of high risk or over 50 years old

Properties over 50 years old or that are unusually constructed   

Completed by a qualified surveyor

Valuation included

×

×

Includes a clear traffic light rating

×

Looks at the condition of the property

Identifies potential problems 

Offers professional repair recommendations

×

Highlights defects and urgent issues

Helps buyers negotiate a better price 

Includes information for your conveyancer 


Save on your Surveying Costs with Compare My Move

When your offer has been accepted on a house, don’t forget to compare surveyors with Compare My Move. We have a network of RICS regulated chartered surveyors to help when you’re buying a house. Simply, fill out our quick and easy form and you’ll be connected with up to 5 professional surveyors. Also, if you want to know what to expect when it comes to your house move, check out our house removal costs guide.