When you’re purchasing a property, an RICS survey is essentially an MOT for your potential new home. These detailed inspections review a building’s condition, structure, and any potential problems with the property.

There are three main RICS survey types: 

  • Level 1 Survey (Condition Survey), 
  • Level 2 Survey (Home Buyer Survey), 
  • Level 3 Survey (Full Building Survey). 

The level of RICS survey you require will depend on the age and construction of your property. 

A property is a significant investment, and knowing what you’re buying can save you money, time, and stress in the long run. RICS surveys can help identify any potential issues with the property, negotiate the price of the property, and help you decide whether to proceed with the sale. In addition, RICS surveys can be helpful as a seller, as you’ll be aware of any problems with the building and prevent a sale from falling through. 

If you’re purchasing a property through a government shared equity scheme such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy, or you’re looking into using a Right to Buy scheme, you’ll also need a RICS Valuation, as this provides an independent valuation of your property. 

Here at Robinson Elliott Surveyors, we offer a range of RICS surveys across the South East, including Sussex, Surrey, Kent, and London. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with an expert and knowledgeable service, offering the most relevant recommendations regarding RICS surveys. We understand that purchasing a property can be very stressful, so a thorough report is critical, as it lets you know exactly what you’re buying. 


Home Survey
(Level 1)

Level 1 Surveys are suitable for new build and modern properties; this survey is the most basic and provides a brief overview of the property’s condition.

Home Buyer Report
(Level 2)

This popular mid-price survey is suitable for most residential properties built after 1800, with the option to include a valuation in the colour-coded report.

Building Survey Report
(Level 3)

A report for more unusual buildings, for example: listed, built before 1800, of eccentric construction, or those that have or will have extensive renovations.

Building Insurance Valuation

This report will determine how much your property would cost to rebuild from scratch, avoiding the risk of being underinsured or paying too much.

What are the different RICS survey types?

Several factors such as the age, condition, or construction of your property, will determine the level of RICS Survey you require. This helpful infographic details the differences between the various RICS Surveys. 


RICS Valuation

A RICS Valuation is a basic inspection used to indicate the value of a property and is required when applying for a mortgage. It’s also typically needed if there are changes in shared equity, schemes such as Help to Buy, and for tax reasons. 


RICS Home Survey Level 1 Report (Condition Reports)

Level 1 Surveys are suitable for new build and modern properties; this survey is the most basic and provides a brief overview of the property’s condition. As these surveys are so limited, they are only suited to properties less than five years old and appear in good condition.


RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report (Home Buyers Report) 

More thorough than the Level 1 Survey, a Level 2 Survey can be used for many different properties, including conventional buildings and homes built after 1800. This is the most popular mid-price survey, and it’s recommended in many instances as it’s suitable for a wide range of buildings and includes a valuation (if needed). 


RICS Home Survey Level 3 Report (Building Survey)

Usually reserved for higher risk properties, for example, older or non-traditional buildings, those constructed from unusual or non-conventional materials, or buildings that have or will be altered/extended. This is the most in-depth survey available. 


Choose the right survey for you 

Our team of fully qualified and accredited RICS Surveyors will be able to advise you on the best choice of survey for you, and we fully understand the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what you’re buying. 

At Robinson Elliott Surveyors, we go above and beyond when carrying out our RICS surveys, providing comprehensive information on the condition of your property. All observations and assessments are thoroughly explained, our colour-coded system makes your report easy to read at a glance, and we’ll never use complicated jargon. 


How to read our RICS Surveys

To ensure clarity and to make our reports easy to read at a glance, we utilise a colour-coded system: 


RICS traffic light

Red (3) Refers to severe defects that need to be repaired, replaced, or investigated urgently.

Amber (2) Refers to defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the usual way.

Green (1) No repair is currently needed, and the property must be maintained as usual.

NI Not inspected.


The RICS Guarantee

Robinson Elliott is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which requires us to adhere to professional guidelines, offering our clients a highly professional service they can rely on. 

With extensive experience in all types of property across the South East of England, Robinson Elliott Chartered Surveyors can help to that ensure your property will be safe, in a good state of repair, and that you are paying the right price for your new home, whichever RICS Survey you choose. 

Contact our team of Chartered Surveyors at Robinson Elliott Surveyors today to discuss the right survey for your new property.

Peter Robinson, Chartered Surveyor at Robinson Elliott Surveyors


With over 30 years of experience as a Chartered Surveyor in the south east of England, our director, Peter Robinson, has accumulated a vast store of knowledge about local buildings and their possible defects.

RICS Chartered Surveyor in West Sussex


  • Thank you again for your very thorough and helpful report. it will become the backbone of our efforts to maintain the house in the coming months and years, hopefully, if all goes well.

  • Just to let you know we have completed on Sheridan Place and are moving in at the weekend. Your survey is proving very useful as we commence the repairs and improvements etc. Thanks again for a job well done.

  • Thank you. It was nice to meet you and have a chat. I like the fact that you give clients verbal feedback following your survey, a nice personal touch and very useful.