23 July 2014
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A Guide to Valuations


If you are looking for information on property valuations, look no further. Ifacompare presents a Home-Buyers guide to valuations…

Do I need a Valuation?
If you are taking out a Mortgage in order to purchase a property then it is extremely likely that your lender will insist on carrying out at least a standard valuation for which they will charge you.

If you are purchasing a property using your own funds then it really is your decision. However, if you choose not to have a valuation done, you run the risk of investing in a property, which could turn out to be worth much less than you pay for it

How do I instruct a valuation?
If you are taking out a Mortgage on your property, your Mortgage lender will instruct a valuation as part of their application process. However, you will need to decide which type of valuation you wish them to instruct. If you need help understanding the different types of valuation keep reading

Please note: Your Mortgage lender will have their own panel of Surveyors, which they will probably insist on using. You have the right to instruct your own independent valuation, but it is highly likely that your lender will still insist on carrying out a standard valuation using Surveyors from their own panel and you will still be charged for this.

If the valuation is purely for your information you can instruct a Surveyor of your choice. If you decide to do this, it is best to shop around. Like anything in finance, by shopping around you could find a better deal

What type of valuation should I instruct?
This is completely your choice, but before you make a decision take a look at our quick explanation of each type of valuation to make sure you understand the differences between them

A Standard Valuation
Estimated Cost:
Between £200 – £1000 (Depending on property value)
Duration: Around 30 Minutes
Usually instructed if: The purchaser is very confident that the property is in good condition and has no concerns.

This is the most basic type of Valuation and the cheapest too. In this scenario the Surveyor will simply look around the property taking note of any obvious/major defects which they feel affect the value of the property.
The figure the Surveyor arrives at will be based upon several factors such as the location of the property, the age of the property, the condition the property is in and the size of the property. The Surveyor will also use their knowledge of house prices within the area to arrive at the final figure

A Home Buyer’s Report
Estimated Cost: Between £300 – £2000 (Depending on property value)
Duration: Between 1 and 2 Hours
Usually instructed if: The property is less than 75 years old, is conventional in structure and is known to be in good condition

This is more expensive than a standard valuation, but much more in-depth too.  A Home Buyers report will consider every visible aspect of the property and comment on each aspect in turn. By instructing this type of valuation, you will gain a much better insight into any aspect of the property which will require repair/maintenance. This will allow you to decide to keep your offer as it is, reduce your offer in light of the work that needs carrying out or insist the repairs/maintenance are completed in order for your offer to remain as it is

A Building Survey (Full Structural Report)
Estimated Cost:
Between £600 – £3000 (Depending on property value)
Duration: Upwards of 1 and a half hours
Usually instructed if: The property is older than 75 years, is unusual in terms of appearance or in terms of the material it is made from, the purchaser intends to carry out renovations after purchasing the property

This is the most expensive valuation you could instruct, but by far the most detailed. A Surveyor carrying out this type of valuation will list all the major and minor faults that they can find and will often list what work needs to be done to the property. The Surveyor may also include an estimated cost for each piece of work that would need to be carried out

How much will a valuation cost?
The cost of your valuation is dependent upon the value of your property. The higher the value of the property, the more expensive the valuation will be. The cost is also dependent upon the type of valuation you choose. Standard valuations are the least expensive and Buildings Surveys are the most expensive. Prices will differ depending on Mortgage lender or Surveyor

How can I complain if I am unhappy with my valuation?
The first thing to consider is whether your concern is reasonable. Please remember that a Surveyor cannot be expected to find and document every fault a property may have. Some faults may not have been documented because the Surveyor could not gain access to the area in question or because gaining the access to the area would have placed the Surveyor at risk of injury.

If having considered this you still feel that the Surveyor is at fault, the first step is to speak with your Mortgage lender and raise your concerns. If you have instructed the Surveyor directly, speak to them. The Surveyor may be able to resolve your concerns easily

If you feel that your Surveyor has been negligent in their duty and this has resulted in financial loss on your part and you are unable to resolve this with them, you have the right to take legal action.
If the Surveyor you chose is a member of one of the Surveyor’s Professional Trade Associations, they will be bound by a code of best practice. You may find it useful to contact the relevant Association directly


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