When buying real estate properties with a mortgage, lenders often insist that a valuation survey be provided for the property. However, such valuations function to protect the lender’s interest most times, and they do not offer you (the buyer) adequate information about the property. 

Most homebuyers rely on the lender’s valuation because they generally have to pay for this survey. However, if you are currently reading this article, then you are about to find out reasons why you should be smart and commission an independent survey instead of following the crowd. Of course, we will offer information to help you choose between building surveys (complete structural survey) and a home buyer’s report. 

Valuation surveys are often insufficient, but they are necessary 

Most times, valuation surveys are brief and trivial. This is because the lender is often more concerned about their loan’s security than the property’s quality. In many cases, the surveyor will be in and out of the property within an hour. Sometimes, they might even just drive by. 

Of course, such hasty surveys will merely confirm that the property’s price corresponds with similar properties around it, considering its condition, age, and location. It will not do the thorough job of scrutinizing the home for any possible fault, etc. 

In a nutshell, valuation surveys will only offer you short and barely informative reports about the property you want to buy. This means that you are unlikely to get sufficient information to guide you in making the best decisions about the property, even though you have paid about £300 for it. 

The Homebuyer’s Report 

Here, the land surveyors is likely to spend, at least, a few hours in the property and around half a day preparing a standard format report. This report’s length is usually around 20 pages, and the language is often plain and straightforward. 

The report will examine whether the property is a good buy at the price that has been placed on it. This will put you in a better position to make an informed decision whether your offer for the property is fair enough. You can anticipate a comprehensive report of the property’s overall condition and a summary of its need for repairs (if any). 

With this report, you can decide to renegotiate with a better understanding of all the hidden costs you might acquire when you buy the house.  

Building Surveys 

Contrary to the homebuyer’s report, a building survey does not automatically come with a valuation, except you request one. Its content is often more detailed, and the language is often technical. If you prefer picture illustrations in the analysis, check it out before commissioning, as the survey does not have a standard format. 

For survey type, the surveyor will check every accessible or visible part of the building thoroughly, often spending up to a day in the property. Usually, you have to wait for about two weeks for the full report. However, you can get a verbal top-liner before the time if you request it. 


It is always vital to carry out a proper survey of the property you want to buy before paying for it. However, people are often confused about the type of survey to go for. Luckily, this article has discussed some things you should know to make the choice easier for you. 

Another fantastic tip that could help you significantly is to hire a competent, experienced, and trustworthy surveyor.