Buying a home
Viewing a property
When you view a property, think about:
its size and if there are enough bedrooms
if it needs any repairs or renovation work
if it’s accessible and meets your needs or the needs of your household
If you’re interested in a property but not ready to make an offer, your solicitor can submit a note of interest. This means you’ll have a chance to make an offer before it’s sold.
Getting the home report
This is a document pack that gives you information about the property. It includes a survey, an energy report and property questionnaire.
A home report should tell you:
the value of the property
what condition it's in
the council tax band
how energy efficient it is
how much your energy bills are likely to be
The home report should also say how accessible the property is. It could include things like:
how wide the doorways are
how many levels there are
which level toilets and bathrooms are on
if there are steps within the property
how many steps to the property there are
A seller is usually required to provide a home report. They must give you it within 9 days if you ask for it.
Some homes do not need a home report, including new build homes. You should still get an energy performance certificate.
When you view a property, check that what you see matches the home report. If not, you may decide to get your own survey done.
Getting your own survey
If you have any concerns about the condition of the property, you can get your own survey done. Your solicitor can help you organise it.
You'll usually do your own survey once you make an offer. Make sure your offer is conditional on the survey's outcome.
If you have a mortgage approved, make sure the surveyor you use is approved by your lender.
If the survey finds problems with the property
decide not to buy the property
ask the seller to fix the problems before you buy
get a quote for the cost of repairs, and use this to negotiate a lower price
If you’re unhappy with a survey
If your surveyor misses a defect that later costs you money, you can claim compensation.
If you want to complain, get advice from Citizens Advice. They’ll work out your rights and help you make a complaint to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Last updated: 19 January 2023