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Case Study Level 3 RICS Home Survey with Cost Estimates for a 1930s Semi-Detached House

When it comes to property auctions, time is a critical factor that can make or break a deal.

This case study underscores the crucial role of conducting detailed surveys in property purchases, especially when dealing with auction properties.

Key Points

Type of Service Provided: Level 3 RICS Home Survey with cost estimates.

Client: A prospective buyer interested in bidding for the property at auction.

Property Type: 1930s three-bedroom semi-detached house.

Location: Chichester.

Condition: Poor.

The Brief

The client intended to carry out substantial internal renovations but required advice on necessary external works and any potential issues that would incur significant expenditure.


Upon inspection, significant cracking was evident on the flank wall of the house, extending across a large area. The pattern of cracking did not point to a single obvious cause. After a thorough investigation, Residential Surveyor, Toby Hanton, concluded that there were two likely causes:

  • Corrosion of cavity wall ties.
  • Subsidence related to the failure of the drain along the base of the wall.

Toby advised the client to undertake a cavity inspection and a drain survey. Following these, a structural engineer would need to assess the extent of the movement and specify the required repairs.

Project Outcome

Due to the limited time between the survey and the auction date, the required investigative works could not be completed. Consequently, the client determined that the financial risk associated with the potential structural repairs was too high and decided not to bid on the property.

Speaking about the survey, Toby commented; “The client was a pleasure to deal with, and whilst it was a shame they could not proceed with the purchase, it is hugely satisfying to know that by instructing me to carry out a survey they reached an informed decision that this was not the right property for them.

“They avoided the risk of over-paying for the property at auction and facing costly structural repairs”.

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