Level 2 Homebuyers Survey
Regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
What is a Level 2 Homebuyers Survey?
The Level 2 Home Survey, also known as the Homebuyers Survey or Homebuyers Report, offers an in-depth analysis of a property’s condition, aimed at assisting prospective buyers in their purchasing decisions. This survey is particularly apt for standard properties that are in a generally sound state. It highlights major faults and provides a set of recommendations for any necessary remedial work. Having a Level 2 Home Survey empowers buyers with valuable insights into the property, allowing them to make well-informed choices, whether that’s going ahead with the acquisition or renegotiating the price.
What's included in the Level 2 survey?
The RICS Level 2 Home Survey offers a comprehensive visual examination of the property. It thoroughly inspects key structural elements, including the roof, walls, and floors, along with crucial utilities such as plumbing and electrical systems.
Beyond identifying apparent flaws, this survey provides expert recommendations on required repairs and ongoing upkeep. The results are presented in an accessible report, employing a colour-coded system for easy interpretation of the property’s various components’ condition.
What you’ll learn from your Level 2 Survey
Our RICS surveyor offers profound knowledge of the local area of your interest, coupled with expert understanding of the prevalent property types and potential challenges specific to them. Their thorough assessment equips you with the necessary confidence and insight, ensuring you are well-informed about the property you intend to buy.
During the inspection, the surveyor scrutinises essential components like the roof, walls, plumbing, and timber, along with other visible aspects of the house, to detect significant defects. The outcomes are detailed in a structured electronic report, featuring a user-friendly Condition Rating system for straightforward interpretation.
- Condition rating 3 – Identifies critical defects requiring urgent repair, replacement, or immediate investigation.
- Condition rating 2 – Highlights issues that require fixing or replacement but are not deemed urgent or severe.
- Condition rating 1 – Indicates no present need for repairs.
Using a Level 2 Home Survey to Re-negotiate the Sale price
Similar to a Level 3 Survey, if defects are uncovered during the RICS Level 2 Home Survey and the property sale is still in the ‘subject to contract’ stage, the detailed report can serve as a powerful negotiating tool to potentially lower the final purchase price. This is especially true when the survey is conducted by an RICS Accredited Surveyor, lending significant credibility to your negotiating position.
However, it’s worth noting that your ability to renegotiate the price can be influenced by market conditions. In a seller’s market, characterised by high demand for residential properties, leveraging the findings from the Level 2 Home Survey to negotiate may prove challenging. Conversely, in a buyer’s market where demand is low, the survey’s findings could offer you greater room for negotiation.
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FAQ: Level 2 Home Surveys
RICS Level 2 focuses on visible defects and provides an overview of the property’s condition. It’s generally suitable for standard residential properties in good condition. RICS Level 3 is more detailed and is often recommended for older, larger or non-standard properties. This type of survey will examine the property’s structure and provide advice on repairs and maintenance.
Level 2 surveys are well-suited for modern properties that are less than 50 years old, built using conventional methods, and in visibly good condition. They can offer a detailed assessment of the property without delving into the structural intricacies that a Level 3 survey would cover.
While a Level 2 survey may seem excessive for new builds, it can provide valuable insights. Construction quality can vary, and it may identify defects or poor workmanship. Given that new homes come with a builder’s warranty, this survey can serve as a double-check before finalising your purchase.
A Level 2 house survey offers a comprehensive look at a property’s condition and can highlight issues that may not be immediately visible. While it represents an additional cost, the survey can save you from expensive repairs in the long term and can also provide a valuable negotiation tool during the purchase process.
Yes, a Level 2 survey can have a significant impact on property valuation. If it uncovers issues that were previously undisclosed or unidentified, this could be grounds for renegotiating the purchase price, saving you a considerable sum.
Absolutely, a Level 2 survey can be a valuable tool for negotiating the purchase price. If the survey uncovers structural issues, defects, or the need for major repairs, you may be able to renegotiate the price or ask the seller to rectify the problems before proceeding with the transaction.
A RICS Level 2 survey report is quite detailed and usually includes an assessment of both the interior and exterior of the property. This covers structural elements like walls, roof, and foundations, as well as internal features like plumbing, electrical systems, and insulation. It also often contains advice on necessary repairs and maintenance.
The RICS Level 2 checklist typically includes a thorough inspection of accessible parts of the property. This involves checking structural integrity, visible internal and external features, and any signs of potential problems like damp, mould, or cracks in the walls or ceilings. The report will include a ‘traffic light’ system to indicate the urgency of any issues.
If issues are discovered during a Level 2 survey, you have several options. You can renegotiate the purchase price based on the cost of necessary repairs, request that the seller fix the issues before completing the transaction, or in extreme cases, decide to withdraw your offer and look for another property.
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More FAQ: Level 2 Home Surveys
A Level 2 house survey can take several hours to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the property. Once the survey is complete, you can usually expect to receive the written report within 5 to 10 working days. This time frame allows the surveyor to compile their findings into a comprehensive document.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates a property’s energy efficiency on a scale from A to G. It’s an important aspect because it can influence your future utility costs and could even be a negotiating point when purchasing the property. An EPC may also suggest improvements to make the property more energy-efficient.
While a Level 2 survey will include a visual inspection of the property’s electrical system, including sockets and fuse boxes, it doesn’t offer an in-depth examination. If the surveyor notices any anomalies or outdated systems, they may recommend a more detailed electrical inspection by a qualified electrician.
The survey will include a visual inspection of the boiler and any other visible heating systems. However, it won’t be as in-depth as a dedicated boiler check, which would involve firing up the system and checking its internal components. If concerns are noted, a full service by a certified engineer may be advised.
Yes, a Level 2 survey will examine the property for visible signs of dampness and mould. These are important factors that can affect the home’s livability and may indicate other issues like poor ventilation or water leakage. However, the survey won’t offer a detailed damp-proofing plan.
It’s advisable to book a Level 2 survey as soon as your offer has been accepted. This enables you to identify any potential issues early in the process, which can be especially valuable if you’re working within tight time constraints for exchanging contracts.
The surveyor should be a member of a recognised professional body such as RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). This ensures they have the qualifications and experience to carry out the survey to a professional standard.
A mortgage valuation aims to ascertain the property’s value for lending purposes and is often less detailed. A Level 2 survey, in contrast, focuses on the condition of the property, offering an in-depth look at potential issues and maintenance needs, thereby giving a prospective buyer a fuller picture.
A Level 2 survey has some limitations such as not inspecting areas that are not easily accessible like under the floorboards, or conducting detailed tests on the utilities or services. While it is detailed, it does not offer the structural analysis or go into as much detail as the Level 3 Survey does.
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Choose the RICS Level 2 Home Survey for modern properties that are in reasonable condition to gain a thorough yet accessible review of the property's condition. Identify minor to moderate issues, so you can negotiate price or plan for future repairs.
The RICS Level 3 Home Survey is the most comprehensive inspection available, suitable for older properties and ones that have been significantly extended. Delve deep into structural integrity and potential defects to make an informed decision and safeguard your investment.
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