What is it?

The 'Property Buyer's Survey and Valuation' is what it says: a report on the property that you intend to buy. We classify this as a Level 2+ Home Survey Standard.

The main topics include an overall opinion of the property from our point of view. Movement, dampness and timber defects are the main threats to buildings.

The inspection will cover all the parts of the structure that can be seen starting from the chimney, outside of the roof, gutters, walls, windows and joinery, garage, grounds and a look down and running water through the drains if possible. Binoculars and a 12’ maximum ladder are used.

Then we inspect the inside of the property, including in the loft space, ceilings, walls, floors and joinery, we try the windows and doors where possible. All parts that are accessible are inspected without moving furniture, carpets, stored goods or insulation.

There is a visual only opinion of the electrics, heating, plumbing and gas, but we do not test the services. We are not specialists in these fields but we will recommend a specialist to report if we suspect a defect. We do try the taps and light fittings.

Finally we can give our opinion of the market value and also a figure that you should insure the property for.

After this you should be in a position to decide whether you want to proceed with the purchase and at the price you have agreed.

How much will it cost?

Our fees vary depending on the type of property: how big, how old and how much it is. Generally they cost between £300 and £500 (no VAT payable.)

How long will it take?

Depending on demand, we hope to get the report back to you within two weeks of instruction, hopefully within two working days of the inspection.

Will I have to be there?

No. The owner will be there or we will get keys from the selling agent. However, you are welcome to be there if you wish and it is alright with the sellers, but try not to get in the way too much please.

Why do I have to have one?

Buying a house is the largest purchase you are likely to make. It makes sense to have the property checked out. Even if you are getting a mortgage the valuation surveyor will only have a cursory look around, and he is acting on behalf of the building society.

When should I have a survey?

It makes sense to have your survey as soon as you have agreed to buy the property. If there is a problem you will be able to pull out or reduce your offer before you spend money on solicitors or mortgage valuation fees.

Why use David Potter?

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has been doing surveys in Norwich and Norfolk for over 45 years. He will try and give a fair assessment of the condition of the property and warn of any problems that may be stored up for the future. He will also be willing to discuss the matter with you after the inspection. Heaven forbid that there should be a dispute, but he is fully insured and covered by a complaints handling scheme.