Congratulations. You’ve searched high and low, and have now found the perfect property to purchase in the South of France. It’s nearly time to put in your offer – but you know you need to have a survey conducted first to make sure it’s ship shape and structurally sound. But how long does a house survey take?


Not long, is the short answer – but let’s dive into some details.

Why You Need to Have a House Survey in the South of France Before Making an Offer

Pre-purchase surveys are not the norm in France. There is no legal obligation to have a house survey conducted, and most French buyers simply don’t bother with them.


This is risky. The purpose of a professional property survey is to give you, the buyer, a good understanding of the condition of the building you are about to invest in. The survey report will alert you to any serious and/or potentially costly defects. As such, having a survey conducted can potentially save you thousands in “nasty surprise” repair costs after you’ve bought the house and there’s no turning back.


In addition, the best way to get expert, impartial advice on a property is to have a survey conducted by a RICS chartered professional that’s based in the South of France. Utilising their expertise and wealth of specialist knowledge of the local housing market, you will have the best possible information regarding both the state and value of the property. Only when you’re armed with such information are you in a position where you can negotiate on price with the seller.

How Long Does a House Survey Take?

This depends on the type of survey.


There are three main types of survey report you can have conducted. These are:

  • Condition Report:The lightest of the three, most suitable for new-build homes in good condition.
  • Homebuyer Report:A more in-depth assessment of the property, which usually includes a valuation. Best suited for properties in reasonable condition.
  • Full Structural Survey:The most comprehensive survey, consisting of a full, detailed analysis of the structural integrity of the property. Best suited to older properties or those that are in visible need of repair.

Read more: What Property Survey Do You Need in the South of France?


Depending on which type of survey you feel is most appropriate for your property, your professional surveyor will look for defects and deficiencies, including damp and mould, and will check electricity wiring, heating and hot water system, pipes and waste drainage, wall and roof structures, and a lot more besides.


Read more: A Comprehensive Survey Checklist for France


In addition, all external structures, including outbuildings and garages, will be inspected so you know precisely what you will be getting into should you choose to purchase the property.


So – how long does a house survey take?


Well, the survey itself will take just a few hours – anywhere between two and eight, depending on the size and condition of the building, and which type of survey you opt for.


Following the inspection, you can then expect to have the full report written up and delivered to you within two weeks. Your property surveyor should be able to give you a precise timeframe for producing the report once the property visit has been completed.

Charles Mackintosh – South of France RICS Chartered Property Surveyor

Having a full and proper house survey conducted before you buy in the South of France is highly recommended – especially because turnaround times are so quick.


South of France RICS chartered property surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service. With decades of experience living and working in the region, Charles provides highly regarded English language property surveys and advice to overseas buyers.


Get in touch today for more information.