Spanish Property Survey: Types and Cost of House Valuations in Spain

Property Surveys in Spain for Homebuyers. Mortgage, House, Structural, Building Surveys – who needs them and why? Rates and prices of different types of Reports. Download Samples on Reports for Free.

1. Types of Spanish property surveys

Both individuals and businesses need to make sure that their investment in a new or used property is well justified. For this, it is essential to perform a survey before making a purchase. Well, the house you're buying may look solid, but there can be hidden problems which only a surveyor can spot. At best it can reassure you that the house is secure and structurally sound and of its bad news you might reconsider or reduce your offer: for instance, if the roof needs fixing for 10,000 euros. As an intelligent measure, survey's benefits allow you to obtain valuable information to negotiate the price.

There are different types of survey in Spain and some go into more depth than others. The most popular ones are:

  • Mortgage Survey
  • Conditional Report
  • RICS HomeBuyer Report
  • Snagging Survey
  • Building Survey
  • Structural Survey
  • Property Valuation

2. Types of surveys available to homeowners in Spain

Above, we have listed the most popular property surveys. Among these types, the most popular in Spain are the first and the last one – in order to get mortgage and to determine a market price for a good deal.

Mortgage Survey

In case you are going to buy a home with mortgage, or if a prospective buyer purchases your home with financing, the bank may require certain inspection.
Infographics of property value
When buying a property or refinancing a loan, a bank will generally require an appraisal of the immovable.
They hire an appraiser to inspect the property, both inside and outside, to determine if it is worth the amount you are asking for. The biggest thing to note is that this type of report will tell you nothing about the structural state of the property or any other defects.

Snagging Survey

We advise buyers to order this type of survey (within a month or two, read your contract carefully!) after the construction of the building to find out whether the quality of work and materials is as it is stated, which can help the owner make claims to the developer on time, and the contractors to receive remuneration that developers refuse to pay without evidence.

Usually, Spanish developers give a guarantee of 10 years. But if you miss this period of a month or two (depending on your contract), when it is possible to discuss some issues with developer, then you will only be able to solve a dispute in a court, that is obviously not an easy and fast process.

Condition Report

This is the first-level report that includes only some brief and evident information on a condition of a property. It does not go into details and does not include advices on dealing with possible problems. It involves a thorough look around, focusing on urgent matters that do need attention, like damp or damaged roof and it will recommend further specialist reports if needed. If there is something you worry about in the property, you can ask the surveyor to pay attention to it and report to you formally. You will also not find any information on a market value of your property. We recommend this report only if you need to know the brief expert opinion on a chosen property that is in a good condition.

Homebuyer Report

This type of survey is recommended for a secondary market property in a good condition and in case you want to make sure you pay a reasonable price for the property, because it includes valuation. When conducting this inspection of real estate, specialists look at the issues in more detailed way, and also give advice on how to resolve the problem points and estimate possible costs. This way you will be able to negotiate the price. Worth noting that homebuyer report is the most popular among others.

Building Survey or Structural Survey

Structural survey is suitable for old properties in need of reconstruction or major repairs. In case of this inspection, a specialist not only detects the issues in a detail but researches the reasons and a nature of structural problems of the building. This type of survey is recommended only for old houses or in case a surveyor who performed the building survey advised to continue with this one. Structural survey is usually carried out by a structural engineer.
The house inspection
Also, this type of research is often used in case of collapse of the building or its unsuitability for living in order to establish the cause.

Property Valuation

In Spain property valuation is called tasación, and a specialist that does it – tasador.
In case of valuation survey, tasador inspects the property and examines the location, infrastructure, and general condition. In addition, tasador conducts market analysis in accordance with information already available on the market, sets the cost of restoration and the maximum market value.

Property valuation specialists and companies operating in Spain collect market information based on their activities and recommendations to customers when issuing permits, selling, purchasing, planning and developing.

According to the law, the report should contain information on three similar transactions or on six similar types of property on the market. Also, this data should be no older than 12 months, and the tasador must explain why exactly these real estates are chosen for comparison with the one that he or she is evaluating. The submitted report, performed by an order of a legal entity (for example, at the request of a bank) or individual, has a validity period of 3 months.

RICS Surveys

In times of emerging market and a wide variety of properties it is not easy to find a trustful appraisal of a real estate. To ensure that the report reflects the reality, not a subjective opinion, the only solution is to choose the RICS survey.

RICS Condition Report, RICS Building Survey, RICS Structural Report accordingly match all previously listed types of surveys. The only difference is that such a surveyor will be a member of RICS. What is does it mean? RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is the largest and most prestigious organization of real estate professionals in the world. It is a center par excellence for aspects related to valuation, it sets standards for all its members in the activity of valuations, based on ethics, reality and objectivity.

To be an RICS approved agency, at least one of the members of the Board must be approved. Once the certification is obtained, a RICS agent will be controlled and valued to always comply with the strict standards of professionalism, in danger of losing the approval and being expelled from the system.

3. What is a Spanish property survey?

Generally, property survey is a process in which all the components of a house are reviewed: construction, roof, plumbing, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, insulation and ventilation. Then the inspector draws up a report with the results and suggestions on repairs. As the result, survey offers more detailed information than the real estate agent or even owner does not possess.

What is included in a property survey?

Depending on a type of a survey, it considers different levels of involvement and inspection. Let's compare the two most popular types of survey so you can have an understanding and be able to choose the one you need.
In order to have an idea of what exactly is included in the written report, we suggest you look at the samples of these two reports.

Who conducts a survey?

To order a property survey you will need to find an authorized specialist — property surveyor. We strongly recommend finding the one that has a membership in RICS, which ensures that this specialist meets the highest industry standards and has the latest knowledge and skills.

Property surveyors usually have architectural or engineering background in studies and/or experience. But if a specialist has a RICS membership, this means that he or she has passed the exam and not only has an education, but is already quite experienced in real estate inspections.

Surveyors sometimes specialize in certain types of property, so quiz them to find out about their experience with similar properties and if there's something specific you'd like them to look at or advise on — let them know.

Is a survey a guarantee of condition?

Unfortunately, survey of your home or premise does not guarantee that issues will not arise after you arrive. However, if you think that a problem could not be missed during the survey or valuation, and it should have been stated in the report, we advise you to call and meet with an engineer to resolve the situation.

Companies conducting these surveys must have compensation insurance. This amount of insurance coverage should cover expenses of restoring your house in case the inspector misses something he should have mentioned in a report. In case it is RICS member, you should ask him of her of a complaints-handling procedure and apply for a compensation. Misunderstandings are usually resolved this way.

4. Why do you need a Spanish Property Survey?

In case you are owner, you may think you know the state of the house, when actually there could be structural problems that, because they are more complicated to detect, you may not be aware of. An inspection will then identify the problems to be repaired and after that you may raise a price on the property or negotiate properly with the buyer.

For the buyer the valuation is highly recommended regardless of the age of the house. It is a common mistake to think that because it is a new construction it is not necessary to do the inspection. We assure you, that it is important to know what you are paying for. If you invest in a secondary housing, it is important to know, in case some structural or other modification were made, if these changes were performed with the permission of the mayor's office and if they went through an inspection afterwards.
Exclamation mark on the plan
Otherwise, the new owner assumes responsibility: the mayor's office, for example, may require you to show the corresponding permits and even collapse walls for the inspector to examine, for example, the new electrical connections installed.
Once the inspection is finished, you receive a detailed report with photos, which you can discuss with your lawyer before signing the acceptance contract, and thus determine if the negotiations are fair, if a counter offer could be made with a price according to the fixes to be performed or if it is better to cancel the deal at all.

Finally, consider how much money you are willing to invest in your property and compare the average price of 300 to 500 EUR of a valuation in relation to the results you get. There is no doubt that the valuation has its benefits: you will be able to know in depth the property in which you are going to invest and identify possible costs. And perhaps, the most important thing is your peace of mind!

5. Which is the difference between Homebuyer Report and Building Survey, and which one should I choose?

Homebuyer report is about the property valuation plus a thorough inspection of a property, it is a survey designed for homes of a reasonable conditions of a traditional type of construction (villa, townhouse, apartment). It tells you about the important existing issues if there are ones, assessing their level of danger and urgency to resolve.

Building survey reports are extremely detailed and provide suggested repairs as well as estimates on costs. This type of a survey is recommended for homes in disrepair, for unusual architectural solutions to assess their suitability for housing or business. In case you are dealing with old properties or plan on major works, you should also consider this type of survey. Remember, that surveyors tend to be cautious and overestimate rather than underestimate. It can help to get a second opinion from a builder at how much you actually end up having to spend.

6. How to get a Spanish building survey?

You need to choose a specialist or an organization for a survey and decide on a type of survey you wish to order. In Spain, one of the most reputable organization is Sociedad de Tasación. They also issue RICS reports.
Make an enquiry on a website of a chosen organization and a specialist will call you back during the working day. You may also call directly to a specialist you've been advised.
Agree on a specific time and day when a surveyor will come to your house for an inspection. We recommend that you make a list of an issues that you are worried about and draw the attention of a professional to them.
Wait a bit! Normally, you will be issued a report in 3-5 working days.

7. What does a survey cost and how long does it take?

Factors that influence the final price of a property survey are as follows:

  • the type of the survey;
  • type and condition of the property (its size);
  • types of equipment and devices necessary to perform the survey

Average costs for the most popular types of surveys varies from 300 EUR for a studio to 800 EUR for a villa. Concerning the rest of surveys, they are subject to a wide range of cost. Structural or building survey, due to the complexity of the process, may cost 2000 EUR or even more.

8. Conclusion

To conclude with, let's look at the pros and cons of property survey.

Although inspecting your property can be stressful, there are some benefits that may arise.
Survey can confirm that your property does not have any problems. Property inspections are often performed to ensure that the property is secure and complies with certain building codes. The best case is that your property is inspected, and no major problems are found.
The property could be worth more than you thought. The result of property valuation may be pleasant. An appraiser comes to your home to inspect the interior and exterior and then compare your home with similar ones in the area and finally calculates the price hi or she thinks your home is worth. You can find out that the value of your home is much higher than you thought before.
But there are certain negative aspects that you should consider when inspecting your property.
A serious problem could be found. One of the biggest fears of having your property inspected is a frustrating result. For example, structural cracks in the base, high levels of radon or an infestation of termites.
Nit-picking. Another possible disadvantage of having your property inspected is that you could hire an inspector who is only looking for something wrong on your property to justify the expense of being hired. Your report could include a list of issues that are easily repairable, such as air ducts that need to be cleaned, but that has the potential to scare prospective buyers. These "problems" could also be used to try to negotiate the purchase price down. Remember that whatever side you are on.
All in all, when investing or buying, one of your main concerns should be focused on performing the technical inspection of a house or premise. This precautionary measure makes it easier for you to learn more about the property that interests you, to understand more precisely the risks involved and to establish more favorable negotiation conditions to make a purchase more profitable.
Thank you for your attention! For more information please contact the managers of our agency. It is our pleasure to assist you on a way to your dream!
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