Knowledge Guides

RICS Surveyors Explained

Posted July 19, 2023
RICS Surveyors Explained

Whether you are a first-time buyer, considering Shared Ownership or looking to sell your current home, understanding what a RICS surveyor is and how their expertise can benefit you is essential.

In this article, we’ll help explain about RICS surveyors, including who they are, what they do, and when you might need one.

What does a RICS surveyor do?

A RICS surveyor is short for a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors surveyor. It refers to a professional who’s qualified through the RICS. They are proficient in providing expert advice on construction and property-related matters.

Their roles might encompass different aspects, such as:

  • Conducting detailed surveys on buildings, noting any defects and advising on repair and maintenance options. This is often critical when buying or selling property.
  • Providing valuations for various purposes, including sales, mortgages, insurance and taxation.
  • Offering advice on planning and development issues, environmental concerns or investment activities.
  • Managing properties, overseeing lettings, auctions and private treaty sales.

RICS sets the globally recognised standards for land, real estate, construction and infrastructure professionals. Therefore, if someone is a member of RICS (a MRICS), this indicates they meet these high professional standards.

When will I need a RICS surveyor?

A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) surveyor can be required in several scenarios when you’re dealing with Shared Ownership. Here are a few instances:

Buying a Shared Ownership Property

If you’re considering buying a Shared Ownership property, it’s advisable to employ the services of a RICS surveyor. They’ll conduct a thorough survey of the property to ensure that it’s in good condition and worth the price you’re planning to pay.

Selling Your Share

If you plan to sell your share in a Shared Ownership property, a RICS valuation might be necessary. This valuation will determine the current market value of your share, which will aid in setting an appropriate selling price.

Staircasing to Buy More Shares

“Staircasing” is when you decide to buy additional shares in your Shared Ownership property. Before this happens, your housing association may require a RICS surveyor to carry out a valuation of the property. This ensures that the price for the additional shares is fair and reflective of current market conditions.

Remortgage or Changing Mortgage Provider

If you’re thinking about remortgaging or switching mortgage providers, they often require an up-to-date valuation from an independent RICS surveyor before proceeding.

Please remember that these are general guidelines and different housing associations may have varying requirements. Always check with your housing association regarding their specific demands.

How much will cost for a RICS Surveyor?

The cost of using a RICS surveyor will vary depending on what service you require as well as the size and value of your property, and the location. However, as a rough guide:

  • Condition Report: This is the most basic survey normally used for modern or conventional properties in good condition. It’s typically priced from approximately £150 to £350.
  • HomeBuyer Report: A more detailed inspection that offers advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance. This may cost between £250 and £600.
  • Building Survey (formerly known as a Structural Survey): A comprehensive report offering in-depth analysis. As this is much more detailed, it can range from approximately £500 to over £1,000.
  • Valuation: If you only need a valuation for reasons such as staircasing or remortgaging, prices generally start from around £150 upwards.

Please bear in mind these are rough estimates and actual prices can greatly differ based on numerous factors. It’s always recommended to gather several quotes from different surveyors before making your decision.

Where can I find a RICS surveyor?

You can find a RICS surveyor using one of the following methods:

  • We provide a list of RICS surveyors you can use.
  • RICS Find a Surveyor: This is an online service provided by RICS itself. You just need to input your postcode, and the tool will generate a list of local RICS regulated firms.
  • Recommendations: You could ask for recommendations from family or friends who have recently used surveying services. They can give you valuable insights about their experiences with particular surveyors.
  • Estate Agents: Estate agents often work closely with surveyors and so they should be able to recommend someone local and reliable.
  • Online Search Engines: Simply type “RICS surveyors near me” into an internet search engine like Google or Bing, and you’ll receive plenty of results. Always check reviews and ratings before deciding on one.

Remember, when selecting your RICS surveyor it’s important to ensure they’re registered with the appropriate regulatory bodies and that they carry professional indemnity insurance.