You’ve found the house you want to buy and make into your new home, you should now instruct a Chartered Surveyor to check the condition of the building and make sure it’s safe and as solid as it looks.

Although your mortgage company will organise a valuation of the property, a surveyor will be able to let you know whether there are any problems with the house and more importantly, how serious these are, so you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to proceed with the purchase or so that you can negotiate on the price.

So, how do you go about choosing the right surveyor?

One of the best ways of finding a surveyor is to look for a company who are experts in their field, friendly, have honesty and integrity and who are willing to make the process as easy as possible.

However, it’s not your only consideration.

Make sure your surveyor has a good knowledge of the local and surrounding area and of the houses and flats within it. Likewise, if you’re buying a property that is listed or of an unusual construction, it’s wise to source a surveyor that specialises in these properties.

As fees for surveyors vary, it’s also a good idea to source at least three quotes from local surveyors. You may be surprised by how much they vary. Avoid just choosing the cheapest quote as this could indicate a poorer service.

You also want to give some consideration to how deeply you want the surveyor to go. A Home Condition Report is the most basic survey you can expect, while a Full Building Survey looks closely at the condition of the property.

Prices also vary depending on the age of the property, the design and how complex the survey is. Expect, for instance to pay more for a listed property.

Seek clarification on exactly the level of detail the survey will go into. Otherwise you may be disappointed if you expected a thorough inspection of the property and only get a general overview. The surveyor should let you know what to expect, depending on which survey you choose to have.

You’ll also need to ensure the surveyor can meet your deadlines – can they deliver the report within your timescales?

Here’s our handy checklist of questions to ask when you’re discussing your needs with your surveyor:

  • What knowledge do you have of the local area?
  • (If an unusual construction) Do you have experience with these types of constructions?
  • What are the differences with the types of surveys?
  • What type of survey would you recommend?
  • Can you meet my timescales?
  • What prices would you charge?

When you’re happy, appoint your surveyor and expect your report shortly. Please feel free to contact us on 0800 014 7528 or visit our website at We’d be happy to discuss your requirements and give you a quote.