A Homebuyer Report also known as a RICS Level 2  Survey, is a document that describes any obvious defects at the property. The report will give a representation of the current condition of the property and how much you can expect to spend on repairs. It may also provide you with the grounds to negotiate a better price.  There are three different types of Home surveys, which provide different levels of detail. 

What is a Homebuyers Report and what is included?

A thorough visual inspection of the property, including both interior and exterior aspects, to identify any visible defects or areas of concern.

An estimation of the property's market value, which can help buyers determine if the asking price is fair. 

Visual appraisal of services such as gas, electricity, water and drainage.

“Traffic light grading system”: The surveyor usually assigns a condition rating to different parts of the property, highlighting areas that may need attention or repairs. The report should detail any significant defects or structural problems found during the inspection, as well as minor issues that may require attention. The report will also include any limitations to the surveyor's inspection, such as inaccessible areas or concealed defects that were not visible during the inspection.

Recommendations: The surveyor may provide recommendations for necessary repairs or maintenance work that should be carried out to ensure the property's safety.

Common Defects

Defects such as cracks, sloping floors and doorways indicate potential structural issues. Structural issues can be costly so it is important to seek advice from a qualified surveyor.

Roof defects such as missing or damaged shingles, signs of water leaks, and sagging areas. Roof repairs can be costly, so it's essential to assess the roof's condition carefully.

Japanese Knotweed is an extremely invasive plant that is expensive to exterminate. The roots can burrow through garden walls and outbuildings making them unstable. It is important to identify early on to prevent severe damage. 

Water stains on walls or ceilings, musty smells, and peeling paint can be signs of water Ingress or dampness issues, which could lead to mould growth and cause health hazards.  It is a defect that can be easily hidden and easily prevented. 

Pests such as beetles and woodworm eat through the timber aspects of the property, causing significant damage. 

Different Home Surveys

RICS Homebuyer Report (Rick Level 2)

Typically suited to conventional residential properties that are in fair condition. The report highlights issues affecting the property and advises on maintenance repairs and costs. The report may also include an estimate of how much the property would cost to rebuild if it were demolished.  This report uses a traffic light system for ease of understanding. Essentially the RICS Qualified Surveyor will rate the severity of the defect using Red, Amber and green.

  • Green: Condition Rating(CR1) – No Repair needed.
  • Amber: Condition Rating 2 (CR2) – Defect that requires repair or replacement, not considered urgent. 
  • Red: Condition Rating 3 (CR3) – Serious defect requires immediate repair. 

Home Condition Report (Ricks Level 1)

The most basic of the three, you won't receive advice or valuation. The report will include key aspects of the property's condition. Checks on the services, such as water, gas and electricity will be included in the report.  HCRs are best suited to newer residential properties.

Building Survey (Ricks Level 3)

Also known as a structural survey, it provides detail on the property’s condition. The report will include superficial and structural defects and will advise on what problems need addressing and the outcome if they are not addressed. They are typically used for older buildings. 


In this blog, we have discussed the significance of the HomeBuyer's Report. This report is an indispensable tool for home buyers, providing a detailed property inspection to reveal any visible defects or potential concerns. It also offers a professional RICS valuation to help determine a fair market price, ensuring a smooth negotiation process. The Homebuyer’s Report identifies defects and recommends necessary repairs.  Homebuyer Report will highlight any red flags and provide enough information to decide the next steps. Such as;

  • Commissioning further specialist surveys.
  • Finding out from the seller if any guarantees are in place that could cover the defects noted.
  • If the works are major or costs are unclear, then get further quotes from a contractor to determine how much it would cost to fix.
  • These quotes can then be used to try to renegotiate with the seller. 

Although Homebuyer Reports may just feel like another expense, they are worth considering. They help you avoid any costly surprises down the line. 

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