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News & opinion

26 APR 2019

Get involved: clearing up the home buying process

Consumers and residential professionals are being given the opportunity to have their say on a consultation for a new mandatory RICS Home Survey Standard launched today.

Proposed changes will better protect buyers, and sellers, by making sure they fully understand the importance and benefits of commissioning a home survey before purchasing a property as the process and language is clarified, it will also standardise offerings. The consultation is open for three months from today.

Take part in our consultation

With confusion persisting in the market, and with the property industry opening up to first time buyers, (home ownership in the 35-44 year age group up 5%; English Housing Survey, 2017/2018) it is increasingly important that those who may be making their first home purchase, and the market in general, are clear on why a survey on your home is important, the fact that a valuation is not a survey, the differing surveys themselves, the process, their needs, and any potential pitfalls. RICS, within the standard periodic review of our standards and marketplace, have worked with industry to create the proposed new mandatory RICS home survey standard. 

These changes are in response to a changing market place, updated technology and consumer needs.  The proposed standard out to consultation will not only make sure that any home survey undertaken by RICS members is delivered to the highest professional standards,  but will clear up confusion over the different surveys on offer.  Technical language will be clarified, and the needs and requirements of consumers will be made top of the bill - enhancing understanding of technical details that may arise, and providing confidence to those buying or selling a home.

We will also be looking to provide, later in the year, guides and documents to aid the home buying and selling process, and therefore consumer feedback as well as industry feedback is of the utmost importance.   

Single survey within Home Report will remain in place. Aside from information available within the Home Report, RICS is also looking to provide more clarity about the types of additional surveys available to potential buyers.

We need input to make sure the home survey process, which is a fundamental part of buying a home, or selling one, fit the needs of all.

Additional info for RICS professionals

The proposals to update the home survey standards propose a series of new mandatory requirements for RICS professionals, acting as benchmarks, and the proposed changes cover residential surveys at all levels.

The purpose of this professional statement is to:

  • establish a clear framework to maintain consistent quality standards for residential property survey services that RICS members and regulated firms provide
  • provide mandatory requirements for RICS members and regulated firms in the UK who deliver residential property surveys at all levels
  • replace and update previous RICS publications that relate to residential surveys – for example consumer guides

The professional statement consultation covers condition-based residential surveys at all service levels. Where RICS members or RICS regulated firms wish to incorporate a property valuation into their service, the valuation must be in accordance with RICS Valuation – Global Standards 2017 and RICS Valuation – Global Standards: UK national supplement 2018.

The current edition RICS Property Inspection Technical Guidance for the completing of Single Surveys assists members to produce Single Survey reports in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish legislation. Reference to RICS guidance is clearly outlined in the document and departing from this professional statement pursuant to Scottish legislation takes precedence over all other requirements within this professional statement. However, this professional statement does apply to all other condition-based residential services offered by RICS members and RICS regulated firms in Scotland.