Questions Our Surveyors Get Asked The Most

Our surveyors get asked a lot of similar questions in their day-to-day job when surveying a property. Find out the answers to the most common questions they get asked below!

About Our Surveyor Team

All our Surveyors are qualified with either AssocRICS, MRICS or FRICS status from our professional body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Our Surveyors will also be approved ‘Registered Valuers’ meaning they are subject to additional regulation for their valuation work.

All our Surveyors are local to the area they work in; either being a home-based staff surveyor or a consultant from a local partner firm.

Our Head Office is in based in Nottingham and this is where appointments will be booked from and administered.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a mortgage valuation?
The mortgage valuation is a brief report on a property for the Lender’s purposes only, to advise of the value and any characteristics which might affect its value as security for the proposed loan.

How long will the appointment take?
This will vary depending on the type and size of the property and any pre-inspection preparation carried out by the Surveyor. On average, our Surveyors are likely to be on site 20 -40 minutes. However, for very small properties like studio flats the time on site may be less and for larger houses may be more.

What will the Surveyor need to see?
The Surveyor may need to see the full extent of the property which could include loft spaces and cellars although there are exceptions to this. Sometimes fixed cupboards/wardrobes that conceal walls may need to be opened although no furniture would be moved.


Surveyors will usually want to know what outbuildings or garages you have and in many cases will want to check these internally. Where your property has a substantial plot, it may not be practical to see the full extent of your estate and the valuer will discuss this with you when they arrive.


Measurement of the size of the building is needed for houses and bungalows and overall internal measurements of flats; we typically do not rely on measurements from other sources. Measurements are used to aid the valuation process and to inform the lender.

Will the Surveyor need to take photographs?
Yes. Most Lenders and SDL require their Surveyors to take 5 photographs – front and rear of the property, a street scene, and kitchen and bathroom. Most Surveyors would also take a garden photo but if necessary, some other photos may be taken as a photographic record. Any representation to personal information will be dealt with in line with data protection law.

What will the Surveyor ask me?
Surveyors will often ask the person providing access some questions where the information we hold might be incomplete or incorrect. This can include, but is not restricted to:

  • Confirming we have the correct address and postcode
  • Confirming we have the correct purchase price or estimated value
  • Confirming where an estimated value (for re-mortgage) was derived
  • Asking about the marketing of the property (if a sale). For example, how long was the property on the market for, what was the asking price
  • Confirming the current rent and estimated rent (buy to let cases)
  • Confirming the type of tenancy (buy to let cases)
  • Asking how long you have lived in the property and what you originally paid
  • Property age
  • Property alterations and consents
  • Lease length, ground rent and service charges

Do not worry if you don’t know all these things when asked.

Will the Surveyor confirm the valuation or details in the report?
In most instances the work to determine the valuation will not be completed until after the inspection. The report is for our Lender client only and we are unable to discuss the report or likely valuation figure.

Whilst we are not permitted to provide copies of the reports we produce to customers after our visit, some Lenders will disclose the Valuation reports, but most do not, as these reports are of limited scope and focus on factors important to lending. In contrast, a Homescore, Homebuyer or Building Survey report is designed with buyers in mind, and we cannot disclose information regarding these reports to anyone other than our client.

What else does the Surveyor have to do after they leave the property?
After the inspection, the Surveyor will have to finalise their site notes and then source and analyse recent comparable property sales in the local area to decide on the valuation. They may also need to refer to the Lenders policy before they prepare the report.

When will the Lender receive the report?
Most Mortgage Valuation reports will be submitted to the Lender electronically within 24 hours, but occasionally additional information is required that delays this process. We do try to provide the Lender with the report as promptly as possible.



SDL Surveyors can undertake a range of home surveys including Homescore Condition type Reports, RICS Homebuyer Reports and Building Surveys. These are reports for a Buyer of a property and not a Mortgage Lender. The Surveyor will need to carry out a longer more in-depth inspection of the property. When the appointment is booked we will indicate if a Survey is being completed.

How Much Does a Property Survey Cost?

The cost of a property survey will vary based on the type of survey you require & the price of the property that the survey is to be conducted on. Homescore reports (also known as condition reports) are the cheapest available survey, whilst HomeBuyer reports & building surveys are respectively more costly but also contain increasingly more detail.


Take a look at our summary comparison table outlining how much each type of property survey costs.

What is the Difference Between a Home Report & a Survey?

The main thing to remember is that a Homescore report (condition report) or a HomeBuyer report are both forms of a property surveys in themselves. They each respectively provide more details about a property’s condition but are low to mid range property surveys, presenting information to the customer using rating systems that are simple to understand.

In comparison, a building survey is the most comprehensive type of property survey available on the market and goes into much more detail about a property’s condition, it’s defects & what actions can be taken in order to prevent further costly issues from occurring in the future.

Our comparison table summarises the differences between house surveys.

What is a Homescore Report?
Homescore is a Level 1 survey aimed at providing a concise report on the condition of the property with no technical jargon. No valuation is included within this report. Inspection time usually vary from 45 minutes to over 1 hour depending on the size and type of the property.  This report is typically returned to the buyer with 1-2 working days.

What is a Homebuyer Report?
The RICS Homebuyer is a Level 2 survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. A valuation is included within this report. General advice on repairs and maintenance is highlighted. Inspection time usually would vary from 1 to 3 hours depending on the size and type of the property. This report would normally be provided to the buyer with 3-5 working days.

What is a RICS Building Survey Report?
A Building Survey report is a Level 3 report and a far more detailed and bespoke product which can be prepared for any property, regardless of construction, condition or age. It gives specific advice on repairs and maintenance, likely cause of problems and approximate costing for works. Site inspection time usually varies from 3 – 6 hours depending on the size and type of the property. This report is usually returned to the buyer with 5-7 working days. This report does not include a valuation.


General Questions

What Is A Property Surveyor's Dress Code?
The modern property surveyor has moved away from the stereotypical three-piece suit; which is impractical for possibly climbing in loft spaces or entering potentially dirty areas like cellars or outbuildings. Our surveyors are however expected to wear smart casual clothing.

Will A Surveyor Keep Their Shoes On When Conducting A Property Survey?
We do not expect our surveyors to remove their shoes during inspections owing to the potential health and safety risk.

What Level Of Access To A Property Does A Surveyor Need?
Ideally, we like to meet property owners during our inspections as they are best able to answer any questions we have. However, we can meet tenants or agents if this is more convenient. Subject to prior agreement, surveyors may also be able to collect keys from an agent, returning these in person or by recorded post. If there is an alarm to the property can you please make sure we are aware of this prior to attendance.

Will Pets Affect My Property Survey?
If you have any pets in the property please advise us at the time of booking. We would appreciate that if these are nervous or excitable, they are placed in a separate room whilst we conduct the inspection so we do not cause any unnecessary distress to them.

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Contact The Team For Further Advice:

We do hope this is useful to you. If you have any other queries please contact us on or telephone 0115 951 7520. Alternatively, request a callback and we’ll be in touch at a time that suits you.

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