Surveys and Searches


When purchasing a property, buyers need both a survey and searches but sometimes people can feel a bit confused about what the difference is between the two.

In a nutshell, searches are carried out by your solicitor who will raise enquiries with various organisations about the property you are buying.

Surveys meanwhile are used by mortgage lenders and buyers to establish the condition of the property and to ascertain whether it is worth the money being lent to you and worth the price you are paying. Surveys can also identify potential defects in the physical property.

There are many different searches that your solicitor may need to request depending on the type of property you are buying and the area that it is in.
Typical searches include, a local authority search, which will look at whether there are any major road schemes close by, all planning decisions and building regulation approvals affecting the property, tree preservation orders and conservation areas.

You might also require a drainage and water search to confirm whether the property is connected to mains drains and sewers and water and the position of public pipes and drains; and an environmental search to establish whether the property has been built on landfill or in a known flood area for example.

When it comes to surveys, there are a variety to choose from. If you are using a mortgage to buy your property, your mortgage company will normally need a basic valuation report to confirm the value of the property. A basic valuation is only for the lender’s purposes to ensure the property is worth what they intend to lend to you.

As a buyer, you may choose to obtain a more detailed survey, for example, a condition report, which rates the condition of the property, a homebuyers report, which is a more thorough assessment of the property or a detailed building survey, highlighting suggested repairs and improvements.
An experienced residential property solicitor will be able to guide you through the whole house-buying process from start to finish, answering all of your questions and keeping you informed every step of the way.

If you would like further information or require a conveyancing quote, please contact or phone 01782 205000.