Level 1 : RICS Condition Report This is the most basic type of survey. It gives an overview of the property's condition and highlights significant issues, but doesn't go into detail. A Condition Report is suitable if you're looking to buy a standard, modern property that's in good condition, and want to confirm that everything looks okay. The report uses traffic light ratings to illustrate the condition of different parts of the property. You'll be able to find out if there are any serious defects that need to be fixed immediately, or anything that might affect the safety of the property.
Level 2 : RICS Homebuyer Report This the most popular type of survey, and the standard choice for most properties in reasonable condition. A Homebuyer Report looks at everything that would be covered in a Condition Report, with added extras. The survey can take around two to four hours to complete. A Homebuyer Report lists any problems that might affect the property's value, and the surveyor's advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance. It should also highlight any problems such as damp and subsidence, and point out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. The inspection is non-intrusive, meaning the surveyor won't look behind furniture or under floorboards, so they’ll only be able to identify ‘surface-level’ issues.
Level 3 : RICS Building Survey Also known as a full structural survey, this is the most thorough survey you can get. It provides a comprehensive analysis of both the property's structure and condition. A level-three survey is a good option if you’re buying a property that's over 50 years old, of unusual design, or in poor condition. It can also be worthwhile if you’re planning to do significant work or have major concerns about a property. It's usually only undertaken on houses, not flats. The surveyor will be ‘hands on’ and do things like check the attic and look under floorboards. The report will list any defects and advise on repairs and maintenance. You can also ask the surveyor to include projected costs and timings for any repair work recommended in the report.