Our Services explained

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Our Services

RICS Home Survey Level 2 Reports 
RICS Home Survey Level 3 Reports
Help to Buy
Valuation Reports
Valuation Reports

Why get a Home Survey Report?

To ensure it's a dream home and not your worst nightmare

Your home is probably your most expensive purchase - you need to know its true condition before committing to buy.


Use the Home Survey Report to re-negotiate the purchase price

Purchasers who gamble by not getting a Home Survey Report are regularly faced with a few thousand pounds worth of unexpected repairs once into their new home.

Now is the time to find any problems and use them in negotiation on the agreed purchase price.

A Mortgage Valuation is NOT a Home Survey Report

A mortgage valuation is just for the benefit of the lender (it tells them whether or not the property is reasonable security for your loan). 

Whereas a RICS Home Survey benefits the buyer and will highlight potential problems with the house.


Edward Watson Associates offer two types of RICS Home Survey Reports to property buyers


The Home Survey Level 2 Report Service provides an inspection of the Property, a Report on the condition of the Property and includes the Surveyors opinion of the Market Value of the Property. A Home Survey Level 2 Report is suitable for most property types.

This Report can be prepared with or without a Valuation.

The Report use a traffic light system to rate the condition of each element of the building, including advice on defects/repairs and maintenance considerations.

This level of service is for clients who are seeking a professional opinion at an economic price. It is, therefore, less comprehensive than a level three service. The focus is on assessing the general condition of the main elements of a property. 

This intermediate level of service includes a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and grounds, but still without tests. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements and cellars). The report objectively describes the condition of the different elements and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. At this level, although it is concise, the report does include advice about repairs and any ongoing maintenance issues. Where the  surveyor is unable to reach a conclusion with reasonable confidence, a recommendation for further investigations should be made.

This level of service suits a broader range of conventionally built properties, although the age and type will depend on the knowledge and experience of the RICS member. This level of service is unlikely to suit:

• complex buildings, for example those that have been extensively extended and altered

• unique or older historic properties – although survey level two services may be appropriate for some older buildings, the decision will depend on the RICS member’s proven competence and knowledge and the nature of the building itself. For example, a survey level two report on homes with traditional timber frames or those built much before 1850 is likely to be inconclusive and be of little use to the client or

• properties in neglected condition. 


The Home Survey Level 3 Service (formerly called a Building Survey or a Structural Survey) offers the best value for money if you’re dealing with a large, older (pre 1850) or run-down property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works.


The Level 3 Service costs more than the Home Survey Level 2 Service because it provides a more technically detailed Report and takes longer for the Surveyor to prepare.


It does not provide a valuation, however a valuation can be included if necessary at a modest additional cost.

This level of service is for clients who are seeking a professional opinion based on a  detailed assessment of the property.

The service consists of a detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds and is more extensive than a survey level two. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements and cellars). Although the services are not tested, they are observed in normal operation – in other words, they are switched on or off and/or operated where the occupier has given permission and it is safe to do so.

The report objectively describes the form of construction and materials used for different
parts of the property. It describes the condition and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Additionally, it should:

• describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected 

• propose the most probable cause(s) of the defects based on the inspection 

• outline the likely scope of any appropriate remedial work and explain the likely
consequences of non-repair 

• make general recommendations in respect of the priority and likely timescale for
necessary work

Still unsure which Level of Service is right for you?

  • We are happy to have a no obligation chat about which Survey we recommend and we explain why we have recommended that Level of Service.

  • We always ask questions about the Property you are buying and look at the details available online so that we can better advise you.

  • We aim to provide you with all the information so that you are sure you are choosing the right level of service for you.


If you have a Help to Buy loan and are now selling your property or want to pay back the equity loan you will need an Independent Valuation Report from an RICS Registered Valuer to send to Target.

Our Valuation Report meets all of the criteria set out by Target.

The Valuation Report is valid for three months. If you do not complete the transaction in the three month period we can provide a Desktop Valuation as requested by Target.


Edward Watson Associates provide Valuation Reports for a number of requirements.

Private Valuation Report

There are many reasons why you may need a valuation report, for example if you are purchasing a property and don’t need a mortgage. Your accountant may suggest you have one if you are going to visit your bank manager with a business proposal or you may just need an accurate valuation of your home.

Probate Valuation Report

These are needed if someone in your family passes away with property to bequeath. A solicitor may advise the executor of the estate that they need to provide a valuation of the deceased property in valuing the estate for inheritance tax purposes. HMRC’s website has more information on inheritance tax.

Matrimonial Valuation Report

Separation and divorce can be a stressful and emotional time in your life. The family home may need to be valued to decide how your joint assets are to be shared.
We can provide a valuation for this purpose and we are used to producing reports that comply with the family procedure rules if the matter should proceed to court.

Valuation Report for SIPP/SASS

If you are placing your property into your SIPP/SASS, we provide a Valuation Report on your property as required by your pension provider.

Capital Gains Tax Valuation

If you sell a property that is not classed as your main residence, you will be liable to pay capital gains tax on the proceeds of the sale. If the property was purchased before 1982 the cut off point for the valuation is 31st March 1982. We can provide a 1982 valuation Report for capital gains tax purposes. HMRC’s website has more information on Capital Gains Tax tax.


Commercial Valuations & Building Surveys

We offer our clients Valuation Reports for market rent and market value purposes and Building Surveys of commercial property including: commercial offices, retail premises and light industrial units.


Expert Witness Reports

An expert witness report can be used if a dispute arises between two parties, for example over the valuation of a property or an allegation of negligence. When acting as an expert witness, a surveyor has a duty to be truthful to the facts, and to give independent, objective and unbiased advice. If Court proceedings have started or if the matter progresses to Court the surveyor is bound by Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and he must produce a report that complies with these rules.