What Happens After a Survey on a House?

A property survey reveals the condition of the house, identifying any structural issues, dampness, subsidence, and other potential problems. Depending on the results, you can proceed with the sale, withdraw from the sale, or negotiate on the price.

What Are the Next Steps After Survey?

If you are happy with the house survey results, the conveyancing process can begin, during which your solicitor conducts legal checks and property searches. Next, finalise mortgage details, ensuring all conditions are met. Prepare and transfer your deposit to your solicitor, then proceed to the exchange of contracts, which legally binds the sale. Completion, usually within 7-28 days after the exchange, finalises the process, transferring ownership and allowing you to move into your new home.

Conveyancing Process and Searches

Your solicitor will conduct various searches, including local authority, environmental, and water and drainage searches. These searches identify potential issues affecting the property, such as planning permissions, flood risks, or contamination. Your solicitor will review the survey report alongside these search results to ensure no legal obstacles to proceeding with the purchase.

Mortgage Checks

Suppose you use a mortgage to finance the purchase. In that case, your solicitor will review the mortgage agreement in detail, confirm the property’s value supports the loan amount, and finalise the mortgage offer. This is also the time to discuss any changes in your financial situation with your solicitor that might affect your mortgage application.

Pay Deposit

Before exchanging contracts, you must ensure you have your deposit, typically 5-10% of the property’s purchase price. The deposit is transferred to your solicitor, who holds it until the contract is exchanged.

Exchange Contracts

Once both parties sign the contracts, the sale becomes legally binding. Your solicitor will handle the exchange, ensuring all terms are agreed upon and both parties are committed to the sale. At this point, you should also have building insurance in place, as you are now legally responsible for the property.


Completion usually occurs 7-28 days after the exchange of contracts, though this can vary. On completion day, the remaining purchase price balance is transferred to the seller, and you receive the keys to your new home. Your solicitor will also ensure that the property’s title is transferred to your name and registered with the Land Registry.

Dealing with Less Than Ideal Results

Older properties, in particular, can have issues identified on the survey. If issues are flagged, contact your surveyor for clarification and advice. Significant problems may require specialised surveys, such as damp or structural surveys. You may need quotes from qualified tradespeople for necessary repairs to understand the potential cost implications. You can negotiate the price based on the survey results, ask the seller to fix the issues, or even walk away.

How Long Does It Take to Get Results?

Typically, survey results are available within 3-7 working days after the survey is conducted. The exact timeline can vary depending on the survey level. More in-depth surveys, such as a Level 3 Building Survey, might take longer to complete and generate the report. Surveyors’ workloads and the complexity of the issues identified can also influence the turnaround time. To manage your expectations, ask your surveyor for an estimated timeframe when booking the survey.

What to Do After Receiving a Home Survey?

After receiving the survey report, review it thoroughly to understand the property’s condition. If the report indicates no significant issues, you can proceed with home-buying. If problems are identified, make sure you fully understand them and ask for clarification if you are unsure. Obtain professional advice on repair costs and timelines. Communicate with the seller about the findings and negotiate for them to address the issues or reduce the property’s price to cover repair costs. Consider further specialised surveys if recommended by your initial surveyor. Deciding whether to proceed with the purchase should be based on a clear understanding of the property’s condition and the financial implications of any necessary repairs.

How Long After a Survey is the Exchange?

The time from receiving the survey results to exchanging contracts typically ranges from a few days to several weeks. This period allows time for negotiations based on the survey findings, finalising mortgage arrangements, and completing legal checks and searches. If the survey reveals significant issues that require further investigation or negotiation, this can delay the exchange.

How Long is After House Survey to Completion?

Completion usually occurs 6-8 weeks after the survey, although this can vary. The timeline depends on several factors, including the complexity of the conveyancing process, the speed of mortgage approval, and the efficiency of legal searches. The process can move quickly if the survey results are positive and there are no significant issues. However, if problems are identified, further negotiations and additional surveys can extend the timeline. The length of the property chain can also impact the timeframe, with longer chains often resulting in more delays.

Can I Reduce My Offer After the Survey?

Negotiating based on the survey results, which were not apparent when you made your initial offer, is a common practice and can lead to a fair resolution for both parties. Provide the estate agent with your revised offer, a copy of the survey report and detailed quotes for the necessary repairs. Be prepared for the seller’s response, ranging from acceptance to a counteroffer or outright refusal.

How to Find a Surveyor

Finding a reputable and qualified surveyor is essential for a thorough and accurate property survey. Ensure the surveyor is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which guarantees they adhere to professional standards. The RICS website has a directory of accredited surveyors.

Ready to Make Your Move?

Once you have navigated the post-survey steps, addressed any issues, and finalised the purchase, you are ready to move into your new home. Ensure all logistical aspects are in place, including organising your removals, setting up utilities, and notifying relevant parties of your change of address. If you want a stress-free moving experience, consider hiring a professional removal company such as Excalibur Removals. To discuss your forthcoming move with us, simply contact us today.