How long does a building survey take to complete?

It is often said that people buy a house on first impressions, viewing multiple properties but settling on the one that feels right for them. This is all well and good; however, a house is probably the most important purchase they will ever make and it is vital that a survey is completed before they buy. It is also important to remember that a valuation is not a survey.

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The importance of independent advice

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) say you should use one of its professionals to complete your home survey. It has produced a consumer guide explaining the advantages of doing so.

If you are planning to move to the capital and need a building survey London is a good place to start. You will find RICS surveyors online by entering a search term such as ‘building survey London‘.

Even if you are a first-time buyer, you will be aware of how lengthy the conveyancing process can be. Booking a survey as soon as possible will help to keep the purchase moving along.

There are two kinds of surveys you are recommended to consider: the RICS homebuyer report and a full building survey. The former was introduced 40 years ago and is suitable for most modern builds or older buildings in good condition. For buildings that have undergone major re-working or are in need of repair, the latter is recommended. It is also the preferred option if you are thinking of building an extension.

How long will the survey take?

Whichever survey you commission, there are factors that will impact how long it will take. The first is your surveyor’s diary, as you may have to wait until they can fit you in. The second is when the vendor will provide access to the property.

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Next, you have to factor in how long it will take to conduct the survey you have requested. The homebuyer report should take between two and four hours on-site, depending on the size of the property. A full building survey can take twice as long, as there are more elements to it and more tests are undertaken by the surveyor.

Finally, your surveyor will have to write up their report and you should be prepared to wait up to two weeks to receive this.

Richard Anderson


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