What is a residential surveyor?

Posted: 6th of January 2017 by Helen Orme

Residential surveying is a well-respected profession with many rewards. 

Using expert knowledge, typically, it is the role of a residential surveyor to assess the condition of a residential property and provide an impartial report to the client. This report will detail any defects or causes for concern e.g. the presence of Japanese knotweed in the garden, building movement, dampness, or woodworm. A valuation is not a survey! Residential surveyors provide a more detailed impression of a property’s condition to ensure a buyer’s ‘dream home’ is not a nightmare in disguise.

Armed with this report, homebuyers can often then negotiate on price when purchasing a property or, if the cost of repairing any defects exceeds their budget, the homebuyer might decide to pull out of the sale.

Residential surveyors are trained in identifying and diagnosing defects and will refer clients to specialists where necessary. Some surveyors will even go on to specialise in certain areas – for instance, listed buildings or diagnosing dampness.

There are many different types of report that surveyors can offer, each requiring a different level of detail. Here are just a few:

  • Home Condition Survey: The Home Condition Survey (HCS) is a private survey offered by members of the SAVA Scheme. The SAVA Scheme is a scheme for qualified Chartered Surveyors and those who hold either the Diploma in Home Inspection or the new Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (offered by the SAVA School of Surveying). The HCS is a non-invasive survey carried out on residential properties. The survey is designed to help homebuyers protect their investments.
  • RICS Condition Report: This report can be offered by members (AssocRICS, MRICS and FRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The report shows the condition of the property, offers guidance to legal advisors and highlights any urgent defects. The HBR is aimed at conventional properties and newer homes.[1]
  • RICS HomeBuyer Report: This report can be offered by members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who have Registered Valuer status. The report includes all the features of the RICS Condition Report, plus a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs. It also includes advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs, and ongoing maintenance advice. A proposal to split this report into two – condition report and valuation report – is currently being considered by RICS.[2]

If you can see yourself as a residential surveyor and a champion for homebuyers, have you considered training through the SAVA School of Surveying? We offer the only vocational route into the profession so no degree? No problem. Study for the industry-recognised Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation and you could be a qualified residential surveyor in just 18 – 24 months.

Train through us and you can:

  • Learn part-time without giving up your existing work and life commitments
  • Gain direct entry into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors at Associate member level (AssocRICS)
  • Begin offering reports as soon as you graduate from the school
  • Seek employment in an existing firm or work independently

To find out more, give one of our SAVA Course Advisors a call on 01908 442158 or e-mail us at info@sava.co.uk

[1] http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/home-surveys/

[2] http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/home-surveys/

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