What is a Level 2 Homebuyers Survey and when should you get one?

Level 2 Homebuyers Survey

If you are moving house or thinking about putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to find out more about the surveys you may need to ensure you know what you’re buying. A Level 2 Homebuyers Survey is the most popular report requested when purchasing a property and can give you vital information about the condition of the home you are hoping to buy. If you have never moved house before, or you don’t really understand the process, this blog will give you some useful advice on what’s involved in a Level 2 Homebuyer Survey and when it's applicable to get one.

When do you need a Level 2 Homebuyer Report?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Level 2 Survey Report, or homebuyers survey as it is most commonly referred to, is a property survey suitable for most types of homes, from flats and apartments to large houses. In England, it is your responsibility as the homebuyer to organise a survey on the property you are buying.

If the property you are purchasing is less than 50 years old, hasn’t had any major renovation work and looks to be in a good condition, then a Level 2 Homebuyer Survey should give you all the important information you need to know whether you want to go ahead with your purchase.

If you are looking to purchase an older property, one that has undergone extensive alterations or repairs, or you are concerned about visible signs of damage, it would be advisable to seek a Level 3 Building Survey Report for more in depth analysis.

What is included in a Homebuyer Survey?

A Level 2 RICS Survey Report is a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior of a property, with the findings presented in a report that is easy to understand. If you have any concerns about any particular areas of the property, make sure to let the surveyor know before they commence their inspection, so they can take particular care to check it out.

In general, a homebuyers survey will look at:

  • Structure - roof, ceiling, walls, floors and chimneys.
  • Fittings - fireplaces (plus chimney breasts and flues), gutters, windows, doors and woodwork (i.e. staircases)
  • Bathrooms and kitchens - fittings and joinery
  • External elements or add ons - garages, conservatories

How long does the survey take?

If you are keen to get the results of your home buyers survey, or are selling your property and want to know how long your buyer’s surveyor will need, you should generally allow between 90 minutes and 4 hours for the inspection. It then takes about 3-5 days for the report to be prepared and sent to you.

The report will lay out the findings in a simple fashion so that everything that has been checked is categorised as either no repair needed, repairs/replacements needed but not urgently or repairs/replacements or further investigation needed urgently.

Depending on what the survey finds, you may then wish to renegotiate the price if there are serious issues which need fixing, or you may be happy to proceed, in which case your purchase can move forward.

Contact us for a Level 2 Homebuyers Survey

If you’re purchasing a property and need a homebuyers report, contact us to find out more about the RICS home surveys we offer including the Level 2 Homebuyers Survey and Level 3 Building Survey report and we’ll help you get the feedback you need to make an informed decision.