RICS Level 2 Homebuyer – Report Interpretation

So you’ve purchased an RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report and have not been provided with your report, likely over 30 pages and somewhat daunting.  There’s category ratings, recommendations, investigations, lots of technical terms that you’re not familiar with, etc…

Firstly don’t worry, we’re here to help and feel free to call your surveyor to discuss anything in the report that you don’t understand, think is in error or otherwise find confusing.  Our service includes discussion following the report and we’re happy to go over the report’s findings with you so you are happy with the information provided.  However, before you call there’s a few things to note.

  1.  Read the WHOLE report through at least once.  Then read it again and this time note areas of concern or anything you don’t fully understand.  You can either email these to the surveyor for clarification or discuss them over the phone.  I believe, at least in the first instance, that emailing the queries is better that way the Surveyor won’t be caught driving or on another survey when you call.  If a chat is required once the Surveyor has responded, then call to make an appointment to discuss the report and/or surveyor findings.
  2. Ensure your legal adviser has a copy of the report and that they have clarified pertinent points with you, in particular anything raised in section I.
  3. If works or further investigations are recommended, ensure you action these BEFORE legal commitment to purchase.  POINT TO NOTE: Once you’ve bought the property or are legally committed, you are unlikely to be able to go back to the seller or the Estate Agent to ask for a reduction in price due to the cost of works found.
  4. DO NOT share a copy of the report with the Estate Agent or Vendor, it has not been produced for their benefit and they DON’T  need a copy (even though they may say they want a copy).  Remember their job is to sell you the property, I’ve seen all kinds of tricks in the past, even Estate Agents amending the report to take out the bad bits.  Send them a snippet of a particular point by all means, but do not share the whole report with anyone other than your legal adviser or builder.

I hope this helps, I’ve also produced a short video to help you interpret the report, shown below.  Please excuse the quality of the video, I’m a Chartered Surveyor, not a film director!  Enjoy.