New home buyers report & valuation format launched by the RICS 2009

On 1 July 2009 the new RICS Home Buyer Service was launched, with the revised Third Edition of the popular Home Buyer Report.

Buying a property is the single most important purchase that a person is likely to undertake, with the average price of a home now being circa £150,000.

The Home Buyer Report (HBR) is an intermediate grade of Survey. It is a thorough assessment of the property, inspecting inside and outside of the main building, together with all permanent outbuildings, and inspecting parts of the electricity, gas/oil, water, heating and drainage services that can be seen, although not tested. Each part of the building, garage, grounds etc are given a Condition Rating.

The Condition Ratings are described as follows:

(1) No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way

(2) Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way

(3) Defects which are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently

The Home Buyers format was last revised 15 years ago, and was becoming dated, with problems of inconsistency between Surveyors.

The benefits of the new HBR format include:

  • A crisp, modern style using reader friendly language
  • Colour coded Condition Ratings
  • Use of plain English
  • Addition of new ‘what to do next’ advice, with an explanatory house

The Level 2 Survey is clear, and also there is an assessment of the reinstatement figure for rebuilding the property in addition to an open market value. Valuation is particularly important in the current market, with falling property values where the significance of condition assumes greater relevance.

The Home Buyers Report is a very cost effective Survey. For the price of replacing an average window frame, a property can be inspected by an experienced Chartered Surveyor, and assessed for structural stability, damp defects, rot and woodworm infestation.

In addition the outside inspection includes:

  • Main and supplementary roof finishes, chimney stacks, rainwater fittings, main walls, external windows and external joinery items, garages, outbuildings, grounds and boundaries

The inside inspection includes:

  • Loft spaces, internal plaster/finishes, ceilings, floors, fireplaces, internal joinery and decorations and service installations

Hopefully this will have given you some insight into the new Home Buyer Report, but if you would like any further details or information, or if you would like a quotation from us, then please give us a ring on 01704 546686 or alternatively send us an email to


Please contact Alastair Sharman or Robin Underwood
Tel: 01704 546686
Fax: 01704 501173