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Why Your Buyer Wants To Arrange a Survey and How to Prepare Your Property

Published on September 10, 2016 by Zak Arden in Selling

Congratulations! You’ve accepted an offer on your property and are working towards exchange – but now your buyer wants to arrange a survey. Should you be worried?

Arranging an RICS Home Survey is a normal part of the buying process and you should not be concerned. If you are buying somewhere new, it’s something you should also be considering.

Mortgage Valuation

If your buyer is purchasing with a mortgage, they will be required to have a mortgage valuation completed on your property. This may consist of a short inspection of your property usually less than 20 minutes, though sometimes the Surveyor may just do a “drive by”.

The purpose of a mortgage valuation is for the lender to ensure your property has enough value, to cover the amount they will be lending your buyer against it.

RICS Home Survey

In addition to a Mortgage Valuation, your buyer may also arrange for an independent RICS Home Survey to be completed on your property by a Chartered Surveyor. An RICS Home Survey will give your buyer detailed information on the condition, construction or value of your property. There are 3 main types of survey:

HomeBuyer Report:

This type of survey is suitable for most properties built since 1900, which are of standard construction (brick built, with a tiled roof) and have not been significantly extended. It will give your buyer information on the condition and value of your property, as well as providing advice on any repairs your property may require.

Building Survey:

This type of survey is a detailed report covering the construction and condition of your property. It includes an extensive, but non-intrusive, inspection of the property and is suitable for most types of property including old, extended or unusually constructed properties.

Valuation Report:

This short survey will provide your buyer with an independent market value of your property and will only highlight major, obvious defects.

How Do I Prepare My Property For a Survey?

  1. Clear Away Any Clutter

You should clear away as much clutter as possible, so the Surveyor can assess the condition of your property – this is also a great opportunity to start packing. To help, here are our 10 Top Tips For Packing When Moving House. You should removed ornaments and plants from windowsills and fireplaces, as the Surveyor will want to inspect these areas for common defects. You should also move any potted plants that are against the exterior of your property.

  1. Fix Minor Defects

You should fix minor, obvious defects such as mould in the bathroom, cracked tiles, dripping taps and hairline cracks on painted walls from decorating. A small investment of time and money can prevent the Surveyor from having to include small, but unattractive defects in their report.

  1. Tidy and Clean

A tidy and clean home will suggest to the Surveyor your property is well maintained. A good place to start is the bathroom, where you should scrub off any mould that has built up around the tiles, taps and pipes. You should also give your carpets a good thorough clean, especially if you have pets or small children.

  1. Make Hard to Reach Parts Accessible

The Surveyor will need to inspect certain hard to reach parts of your property, such as the loft space, basement, fuse box and boiler. You should make all of these areas accessible and safe. You should also move any large furniture that may obstruct the Surveyor, so they can complete their inspection of the walls and floors.

  1. Leave the Property Empty

You should try and leave your property empty while the survey is being completed, to give the Surveyor as much time and space as they require. If you have children or pets, you should arrange for them to stay at a friend or relative’s property.

Handy Tip

If you are worried that the Surveyor may uncover major defects in your property, you should consider arranging your own RICS Home Survey. This will provide you with all of the information any buyer will receive, and give you an opportunity to fix as many defects as possible. You can also obtain quotes from local tradesman for any outstanding defects in your property and provide these to the buyer.

Thing to Avoid

You should avoid trying to cover up or hide any major defects, as the Surveyor is more than likely to uncover them anyway and would view this unfavorably. It will lead them to ask what else has been covered up or hidden. Instead, you should be as honest and helpful as possible.

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About the author
Zak ArdenZak Arden is the Managing Director of, a national online brokerage for RICS Chartered Surveyors. You can obtain fixed quotes from local surveyors by visiting or by calling 0333 011 6683.

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