The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will shortly be launching a new Homebuyer survey report which will increase client choice and ensure a report which more closely meets their requirements.
The current Homebuyer survey includes a mandatory market valuation of the property being surveyed regardless of whether the client requires such a valuation. The new one will come without a market valuation as standard, but will include the option to add the valuation for those clients for whom it is relevant.
The RICS Homebuyer report is most appropriate for modern and 20th century properties and is designed to allow purchasers to make a reasoned and informed judgement on whether or not to proceed with a purchase; to be clear about what decisions and actions should be taken before contracts are exchanged; and, to provide information about the maintenance of the property.
There are, however, a significant proportion of clients who do not need a valuation by a Chartered Surveyor and were previously in effect paying for a service they didn’t want because it was bundled up into the standard RICS Homebuyer report. Some clients are very confident with the value of their potential purchase.
A good example would be an experienced Buy-to-Let investor who is obtaining a mortgage valuation from their lender and has a good knowledge of the local market and the rental yields they can expect from their investment. They may be more concerned with assessing their future repair liabilities and are comfortable with their own judgement on value.
This new approach should generally be welcomed and can be seen as an extension to the approach on Building Surveys, which are typically used on older and more complex properties, where the valuation element is already optional.
One element which will remain as standard in both variants of the new report is the insurance valuation (re-build cost). The RICS considered this to be essential information for all clients to ensure that they do not over or under insure a property. The re-build cost can be very difficult for the non-surveyor to estimate and can vary greatly from the market value of the property.
At Cotswold Surveyors we will be offering both options and the choice will ultimately be the clients. For more information please call one of our offices in Cheltenham or Oxford.