Pre-Purchase Survey

A Pre-Purchase Survey is a detailed internal and external inspection of a house or apartment to assess its condition at the time of the survey and to determine whether or not there are any problems present which could potentially have a substantial cost implication to repair.

A Pre-Purchase Survey is frequently called a ‘structural survey’ or a ‘building inspection’ and is carried out on behalf of the potential purchaser of a property.

Pre-Purchase Surveys are generally carried out prior to the signing of the final contract documents and they are very frequently required by solicitors and lending institutions as they will highlight any planning or building regulation compliance issues and detail the extent of any remedial works required to refurbish a property or carry out any structural repairs.


Frequently Asked Questions (click to expand):

1. How long does it take to do a Survey?
This depends on the type of house, in particular its age and condition. A typical survey of a three bedroom semi-detached property takes approximately 1 – 1½ hours to survey. Older properties can take considerably longer

2. How quickly can a pre-purchase survey be undertaken once a booking has been made?
Normally, we require 3-5 days notice to organise access to the property that the survey is to be carried out on, but we will do our best to accommodate clients who may require a survey to be completed more urgently. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

3. How long does it take to complete a Pre-Purchase Survey Report?
Reports are normally completed within five to seven working days, but can be completed in a shorter time if required.

4. We are considering extending the property when we purchase it. Can you provide advice on the feasibility of extending the property?
Yes. We can advise you on any planning or practical construction related issues that may arise should you wish to extend.

5. What are the limitations of a Pre-Purchase Survey?
a) The principle objective of the report is to inform you of significant structural defects within the property that may affect a buyer’s decision e.g. defects in roof structure, cracks in walls, ceilings and floors that may indicate problems with the foundations. 90 – 95% of the surveyor’s time is spent examining the main structural components of the property. The report does not comment on minor non-structural or cosmetic issues that do not materially affect the value of the property and are of no structural importance.

b) The Building Survey Report is based on a visual inspection only of the exposed and accessible main parts of the structure e.g. walls, roof, foundations etc. to determine the structural condition and general state of repair of the property. During the inspection no opening up or moving of furniture or personal belongings will be carried out.

c) The report does not comment on minor non-structural or cosmetic issues that do not materially affect the value of the property and are of no structural importance e.g. minor drying cracks in ceilings and walls, marginal building workmanship such as some unevenness in floors, walls, and ceilings.

d) Internal roof structures will be inspected where safe access exists via a loft hatch not more than 3 metres above the adjacent floor or ground. Where no reasonable safe access is available, the roof spaces will not be inspected. If there is limited or unsafe room for the surveyor to manoeuvre within the roof spaces, the roof spaces implicated will not be inspected.

e) The inspection can take no account of works covered up, inaccessible or otherwise obscured from view e.g. furniture, fittings, clothing, personal belongings, etc. No moving of furniture or personal belongings will be carried out during the inspection.

f) We do not provide a BER report as part of our survey. A BER (building energy rating) certificate is a legal requirement and must be provided by either the Estate Agent or vendor before the property is placed on the market.

g) Planning searches are not included in the pre-purchase survey. However this can be looked at separately by the surveyor if requested to do so.


Full Terms and Conditions of our Pre-Purchase Survey can be found here: Terms and Conditions for Pre purchase survey