How long does a Level 2 Survey take?

At Harrison Clarke, we are often asked this question, and understandably so. 

The process of purchasing a property is usually time sensitive. The quicker you know about any potential pitfalls a survey may highlight, or the quicker you can be reassured that all is well with the property and you can proceed with your purchase, the better it is for everyone involved. 

When we are asked about how long a Level 2 Survey (also known as a Level 2 Homebuyers Report) will take, our answer depends on whether we are being asked by the purchaser or the vendor.

A purchaser wants to know how long it will take before they receive their report, whereas the vendor normally wants to know how long the surveyor will need to physically be in their property, carrying out the survey.

Level 2 Survey: Time is of the essence

Before you decide who to instruct to take care of your survey, we would advise all purchasers to ask their prospective surveyor how long it will take them, after you have given them the go ahead, to inspect the property and issue their survey report, as timings could be a crucial factor in your decision making.

Often, a purchaser will need a quick turnaround. This could be to avoid spending money on other fees like conveyancing solicitors or property searches before they know that the property is sound – or at least doesn’t harbour nasty surprises. 

Another reason a purchaser may need a survey completed and a report generated quickly is because they made a last minute decision to go ahead with a survey. They may have been unsure about the value of getting one done, before realising how important getting a professional, high quality survey is when you are making such a large financial decision.

Whatever the reason, because of our well-resourced team and our efficient, streamlined processes, we are proud to say that Harrison Clarke is able, in the vast majority of cases, to inspect most properties within five working days of you instructing us. We then issue most surveys within two to three working days after that inspection.

So, in almost all cases, when you are working with Harrison Clarke you will have your survey report in less than two weeks from giving us the go ahead. In many cases, this timescale is even less. We have even been known to inspect a property and produce our report within two days of being instructed! This is, of course, dependent on having a surveyor available at the right time, and having access to the property arranged at short notice.

We are sure you will agree that getting your Level 2 Homebuyers Report quickly goes a long way to reducing any potential stress of the property purchase process.

How long will the surveyor spend on site?

This depends on the size and condition of the property being inspected. 

In ordinary circumstances, a small property in excellent condition will take much less time to inspect than a larger property in a worse condition. 

For example, we might only need to be on site for 45 minutes to an hour if we are inspecting a well-cared for, 15 year old, one bedroom flat in a purpose built block. 

wooden beams in an attic

In contrast, a well-worn, 1930s, three bedroom semi-detached house could take around 90 minutes to two hours to inspect. And, a much larger property, even one in good condition, could take up to three hours for a full site inspection.

These estimates are based on our own recent experience of Harrison Clarke’s surveyors conducting surveys. Some surveyors can take significantly longer on site than others, so it is always best to ask the surveyor completing your inspection how long they expect your inspection to take.

Sometimes, when we arrive to inspect a property, and explain that we may need two hours to do a thorough job, the resident will say, “But my estate agent told me it would only take 30 minutes!” 

It may be that the estate agent has not appreciated how much work goes into inspecting your property, or they may have mistaken a Level 2 Survey for a mortgage valuation, which takes less time. 

Even if the resident hadn’t allowed for a longer amount of time, we generally make it work and rarely have to reschedule. It helps that it is usually mutually beneficial to get the survey done as quickly as possible.

As a vendor, you have the right to know who is coming into your property. So, if you have any questions about the inspection process, ask your estate agent for the surveyor’s details and contact them directly, before the inspection. That way, you can be fully briefed and fully prepared.

Why is my survey so expensive if you may only be on site for 90 minutes?

Often, clients will query the cost of a survey. We explain that the time we spend on site is only part of the time and costs involved in handling your instruction. 

We are incurring staff costs – in our case, we employ really good, experienced Chartered Building Surveyors who consistently receive five star reviews across all our services. We are also incurring travel costs (both time and money), insurance, VAT, overheads, arranging the survey and, most importantly, the significant time it takes to write up your survey report.

There are many hidden costs in running a surveying business and, as with any business, unfortunately these have to be passed on to our clients. 

More information

We have a range of videos talking through various surveying services, including Level 2 Surveys. You can access them via our website or our YouTube channel. If your query isn’t covered in our videos and blogs, or you would like to arrange a survey, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be more than happy to help you.


How you can contact Harrison Clarke

Call our friendly, expert and highly qualified surveyors on 023 8155 0051, or email us at We would welcome the opportunity to help with any queries or needs you may have.

At the time of writing, we have a total of 61 reviews across Trustpilot and Google. We are proud to say that they are all 5 star ratings across the board.

Discover something you would like to know more about?

Tim Clarke, Director at Harrison Clarke chartered surveyors.

About the author

Tim Clarke,


Tim set up Harrison Clarke Chartered Surveyors in July 2017 following a series of public and private sector surveying roles, having previously worked for the University of Cambridge, Rund Partnership, Goadsby, and CBRE. 

Tim has degrees in building surveying, construction project management, and business administration.