Survey or valuation - what's the difference?

When you’re buying a new home you want to be confident that the price you’re paying represents good value. A valuation report is based on a limited inspection of the property and is intended to only provide valuation advice. So, you'll be able to get an idea of the property's current market value, but you won't get any further information about the property itself.

A survey will provide much more information on the potential property, particularly focusing on the overall condition of the structure and fittings, which can heavily impact the long- term costs of living there.

Surveys come in a range of formats and offer different levels of investigation and advice. It’s important that you understand the different options available so that you get the right service to meet your needs.

Valuation reports can be prepared for various reasons, which may include matrimonial or probate purposes, where only valuation advice is needed.

To help you, we’ve put together a simple product comparison table below. 

Please note that the RICS HomeBuyer report is prepared by our qualified surveyors to the standards of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

Product comparison table
 Mortgage Lender’s ValuationRICS Homebuyer Report Building Survey
Carried out by a qualified member of RICS 
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Will help the lender decide if the property is suitable for mortgage security
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X X
Will help you decide if the property is right for you  X
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Report comes in a RICS Licensed standard format X
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X
Report uses a consistent colour coded Condition Rating scheme X
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X
Suitable for homes built AFTER 1850 using conventional materials X
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X
Suitable for ALL types of property
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X
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Provides information that could help you with property price negotiations  X
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May help you avoid costly repairs after a purchase X
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May help you budget for costly repairs after a purchase X
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Includes a market valuation to RICS standards X
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  •  
You can discuss your specific concerns with the surveyor before inspection X X
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You can discuss the report with the surveyor after the inspection X
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  •  
Report includes advice on repair and maintenance priorities X
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Gives information to help your conveyancer protect you X
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  •