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RICS’ new survey will be “real change” to improve buying process

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says its new Home Survey Standard will be implemented from March and will represent a “real change” for the buying process.

RICS claims the new standard - which some thought would be introduced this year - will better protect buyers and sellers, with the emphasis on making sure that consumers fully understand the importance and benefits of commissioning a home survey and what will be included in their survey before purchasing a property.

“The process and language has undergone simplification and survey offerings are standardised” says the organisation, which adds that it will “increase consistency, transparency and competency across residential surveying in the UK.” 


The new version will be the sole standard for home surveys, replacing all previous guidance notes and statements for all levels of condition surveys in a complete overhaul from the institution.

“A cocktail of changing Covid-19 measures requiring changes to business practices, alongside a busy marketplace after the stamp duty holiday, mean more time is needed to make sure these changes are included in members’ current survey standards and processes” explains Ana Bajri, RICS global property standards associate director. 

“The overhaul of home surveys with the implementation of our new Home Survey Standard in 2021 will bring vital standardisation and clarity to the benefit of consumers and will ensure RICS professionals work even more effectively in meeting the changing needs of the market.”

A statement from RICS adds that: “With both government and industry seeking ways to streamline and improve the home buying and selling process, RICS hopes to facilitate real change with the new Home Survey Standard’s implementation.”

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    So the RICS standards make life clearer by replacing three confusing levels of inspection with........ three levels of inspection. Hmmmm. And now it requires surveyors to take extra time to explain why they are not going to inspect the property fully. This is supposed to be clearer?
    Fortunately, the Residential Property Surveyors Association RPSA issued the industry's highest survey inspection and reporting standards last week (no blaming Covid for delays!). All surveys are based on a full and thorough inspection (so no lengthy explanations about what we are not doing) with either a "light" or "heavy" report based on the property type. That keeps it clear and simple and is easily understood by home buyers.
    The RPSA standards are designed to give independent surveyors a clear USP and, more importantly, give home buyers an easily understood proposition that will deliver the highest quality product.


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