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Who Organises a Survey When Buying a House?

Zenyx Griffiths
Written by Zenyx Griffiths
27th June 2019 (Last updated on Tuesday 20th August 2019)

Throughout the majority of the UK, it’s up to the buyer to organise their own property survey when buying a house, unless they are paying via a mortgage. In this case, the mortgage lender may arrange a simple valuation. The seller may also want to arrange a survey to compare reports, but overall, whoever requests the survey usually organises it. 

Buying a house, whether as a first-time buyer or previous homeowner, is a significant change and an important financial transaction. It’s crucial that you find the best property for you and your budget, which is why property surveys are recommended as they can help you decide whether the building is a worthy investment. However, if you’re a first-time buyer, you may be questioning who actually organises a survey in the first place? 

Compare My Move is here to help. To clear up any confusion, we’ve created this useful guide to explain who organises a survey when buying a house. From the types of surveys available to who must pay, we’ve explored the vital questions to prepare you for when you’re ready to compare surveyors, making the process as easy as possible.

This article will cover the following points

Who Organises a Property Survey? The Different Types of Property Surveys Available Who Pays for the Survey When Buying a House? Organising a Property Survey in Scotland Save on Your Surveying Costs with Compare My Move

Who Organises a Property Survey?

Organising a property survey is an important part of buying a house as it can help the buyer determine whether the property is worth the offered price. Typically, whoever requests the survey is the one who must arrange it. In most cases, the buyer will arrange a property survey once their offer has been accepted as it’s an important way to determine whether it’s worth the asking price. 

If you’re purchasing the property using a mortgage, then a simple valuation survey is required to determine the true value of the building. This will typically be arranged by the mortgage lender as they will have a trusted chartered surveyor who they’ve previously worked with.  

It’s not uncommon for the seller to also arrange a survey so that they can compare reports and results. Regardless of whether or not the seller organises a property survey, it’s still recommended that the buyer arranges their own as the report could affect their overall decision. Bad survey results could be used to renegotiate the house price or even convince the buyer to pull out of the sale altogether, saving them from future expenses

The Different Types of Property Surveys Available

To help you find the right surveyor for you, we’ve included a list of the types of property surveys available and when they should be used. It’s not only important to know who organises a property survey but also which survey is most appropriate. There are three main types of surveys to consider: 

  • Mortgage Valuation - A Mortgage Valuation is the most basic type of survey and is required when you’re buying a house using a mortgage. The mortgage lender will request this as it will provide you with an accurate idea of the value of the property along with any obvious damage. 
  • Condition Report - The Home Condition Report is a type of property survey that provides a basic overview of a property’s condition and the risks it may contain. It is the cheapest but least thorough survey type available. This is suitable for conventional and modern homes.
  • Homebuyers Survey - This is the most common type of survey and can be used for all property types. It highlights any major issues or damage that you should be aware of before purchasing the property, stating whether future repairs are needed. 
  • Building Survey - This is the most thorough and detailed type of property survey available. It’s mainly used for unusually structured or older buildings, highlighting major damage and structural issues.

Who Pays for the Survey When Buying a House?

In short, whoever is organising the property survey is the one who pays for it. It’s common for both the buyer and the seller to request separate surveys so that they can compare results and so everyone simply pays for their own individual one. Never be afraid to shop around and compare surveyors as it can often reduce your surveying costs. To aid you in your search, you can receive instant quotes when using Compare My Move, connecting you with to 5 professional chartered surveyors immediately. 

If you’re paying for the property using a mortgage, then your lender will request a Mortgage Valuation before confirming the contract. The mortgage lender will commission the property survey but it’s paid for by you. The lender will hire a trusted chartered surveyor and will then receive the report. Buyers may want to consider having a Homebuyer Survey instead as it includes a valuation but also a more detailed inspection of the property, meaning you get more for your money. 

Organising a Property Survey in Scotland

It’s important to note that the process of buying a house in Scotland is slightly different compared to the rest of the UK. In Scotland, it’s not the buyer who must arrange the survey, but the seller. It’s the seller’s responsibility to hire a trusted surveyor and present the buyer with a Home Report before the purchase can even go ahead. 

A Home Report provides potential buyers with a range of details about the property. One element included is a Single Survey which is very similar to a Homebuyers Report. If you’re buying a home in Scotland then the seller is required to provide you with a Home Report otherwise they could be fined for not complying with regulations. Buyers should request to view this as soon as possible, preferably after viewing the house, as it contains an evaluation of the building’s condition and highlights any issues or obvious damage. 

Unless it’s included in the Home Report, buyers in Scotland will still be required by their mortgage lenders to pay for a Mortgage Valuation. If the lender deems the Home Report’s valuation as reliable, then they might use this to continue with the process instead. The buyer also has the option of arranging their own survey if they would prefer a more detailed analysis rather than just the Home Report’s results.

Save on Your Surveying Costs with Compare My Move

If you’re looking to hire a reliable chartered surveyor, then it would be wise to compare quotes and search for the perfect one for you. To save you both time and money, simply fill out our quick and easy form to get free surveying quotes from up to 5 professional RICS surveyors