How Long Do House Surveys Take To Come Back UK 2024

Our Guide to Building Surveys

How Long Does a House Survey Take

How long does a house survey take to come back is the question on every house sellers lips. Selling your house can be very frustrating especially when it comes to getting a survey done.

A house survey can take a long time, not only for the survey to happen on the day but it also takes some time to book someone to come and do it. Times are different for every RICS registered chartered surveyor as different levels and size of house can change the expected time of completion.

In this blog we will go through the ins and outs of house surveys, check our quick navigation to take you to the questions you want answered:

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How Long Does a House Survey Take?

Typically speaking, property surveys take between 1-8 hours to complete, and this all depends on the type of house survey you opt for. A more detailed survey could take several hours, meanwhile a standard home survey could be as little as one hour. 

For home buyers, the process following an offer being accepted on a house is rather extensive, and there is still much to do before contracts can be exchanged and the home is officially regarded as yours. As well as putting a mortgage in place, you’ll have to organise a conveyancing solicitor to calculate your stamp duty bill and of course, you must arrange to have a survey carried out on the property. All in all, it’s a lengthy process - and one that few genuinely appreciate the extensiveness of -and so understanding how long a house survey takes to complete is vital.

House surveys are in place to examine your home on a professional, much deeper level. A surveyor will scrupulously inspect the property and proceed to highlight any issues that could be a cause for concern, cost more money for the prospective homeowner in the future or may be deemed unsafe.

Some surveys are more basic, where others are a little more in-depth. Those looking to buy a period property will likely have a more comprehensive survey carried out to help definitively highlight any snags that could become more major stumbling blocks - damp areas, uneven floors and issues with roofing or the chimney, for example. Those with their sights set on a new built property have a little less to worry about in this regard, as most new homes come with the comfort of a 10-year guarantee.

There are a number of different home surveys in which you can proceed with, and the one you choose to go with is up to you as the prospective buyer. House surveys can be a cause for concern, particularly for a seller who is keen to retain the sale of their home without any issues. If you’re nervous about the prospect of a home survey, you may want to find out how to proceed with your sale without one. Our article ‘Nervous About House Survey: How to sell without’ is a must-read.


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How long does a Level 1 RICS Home Survey take?

Previously known as a ‘Condition Report’, the RICS Home Survey Level 1 is the most basic and cheapest survey. This survey usually takes around one hour (in some cases even less) to complete.

How long does a Homebuyer Survey take to complete?

Previously named as a ‘Home Buyer Report’ or ‘Homebuyer Survey, the RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Survey takes approximately 90 minutes to 4 hours to complete. In instances where there are issues with access, this could take quite a while longer.

How long does a RPSA Home Condition Survey take to complete? 

The RSPA Home Condition Survey offers the same level of surveyance as the RICS Home Survey Level 2, but is performed by the Residential Property Surveyors Association, as opposed to RICS. You can expect this survey to take around 3 hours to complete for an average three bedroom semi detached home.

How long does a level 3 Building Survey take to complete?

Often referred to as a full structural survey and previously the ‘RICS Building Survey’, the RICS Home Survey Level 3 is the most comprehensive survey RICS offers. From start to finish, this survey can take up to 8 hours to complete.

How long does a house survey take with RPSS Building surveys?

As the highest level non-invasive survey from RPSA, this particular survey can take up to 8 hours to complete - much like the RICS Home Survey Level 3.

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How long does a house survey take to come back?

The waiting time after following completion of a house survey varies depending on the type of survey that you had done. However, as a general rule of thumb, Home Buyers surveys tend to take between 3-5 days to come back, whereas a Building Survey report could be anything up to 8 days.

How long after a house survey is completion?

While there are still things to do following the completion of your property survey, the good news is that things do begin to speed up a little - and providing that there are no stumbling blocks, things are usually wrapped up within approximately 6 weeks.

Can I reduce my offer on a house after the survey is completed?

All being well, your house survey will come back with little to no cause for concern. However, if any red flags are raised, you are well within your right to renegotiate your original offer.

Can I pull out of buying after the house survey is completed?

Until the moment contracts have been exchanged, you are free to pull out of buying a house as there are no legal obligations tied to the sale - everything is subject to contract. This means that if the survey has highlighted some concerns, you can either work with the seller and hopefully reach a compromise in​ terms of price - or back out altogether.

Joe McCorry

Joe is our SEO Specialist that helps produce and develop content. He enjoys finding out about all the new property trends and learning about the property market.

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