Can a Surveyor Value a Property

How is a Property Valued?

If you are considering purchasing a new property or want to re-mortgage your current home, your mortgage lender will carry out a valuation survey on your property or potential property to determine how much it is worth and make sure that it matches up with the amount that you are planning to borrow to pay for it. If you are currently in the process of selling your property, it is likely that the mortgage lender for your potential buyer will want to conduct a valuation on the property to ensure that it’s worth the price that you are asking.

How Do Surveyors Value Properties?

If you plan to purchase a new property or re-mortgage an existing home, the lender may conduct a valuation of the property in various different ways. In some cases, the lender may arrange for a surveyor to visit the property in person, where they will conduct a short survey and put together a report. However, most of the time, surveyors will use recent online sales data to determine the value of the property. In some cases, they might quickly drive by the property to get a look at it from the outside to check the external condition of the building.

The method that a surveyor will use to value a property on behalf of your mortgage lender will depend on the level of risk that the lender deems to be present. In the majority of cases, desk-based valuations with a quick drive by the property will usually be sufficient. However, a lender might ask a surveyor to pay a visit to the property to look at it in more depth if they find anything that might cause an issue with lending, for example, in the case of a much older property or a property that has been constructed with unusual or non-standard materials such as concrete. Lenders may also often ask surveyors to pay a visit to a property if they are unfamiliar with the area or are struggling to find much online information about the property.

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How Does a Surveyor Value a Property During a Visit?

If a mortgage lender has determined that a surveyor will need to pay a physical visit to the property in order to determine its value, they will usually visit and look at the property for around fifteen minutes to half an hour, depending on the size and condition of the building. A valuation survey is typically quite a basic survey where they will look for any obvious defects that might affect the value of the property and confirm key details for the lender. They will then assess the market value of the property once the visit is complete by looking at any sales of similar properties in the area within the past few months to see how much they were valued at and sold for. They’ll also use knowledge of the local market and the supply and demand for similar properties in the area when determining the value.

How Surveyors Value Properties Without Visiting:

If a mortgage lender has determined that the level of risk is low and does not require a surveyor to visit the property in person in order to carry out the valuation survey, they are more likely to value the home from their desk. This will involve analysing the local house prices using a house price index such as the Land Registry and an algorithm that provides surveyors with an automated valuation. In some cases, they may confirm this information by quickly driving by the property to check out the exterior and the general condition of the property before finally determining the value. In this case, the surveyor will not be required to enter the property at any time.

Can a Surveyor Value a Property?

Surveyors will value a property on behalf of a mortgage lender in order to ensure that it is worth the asking price and that the lender is not allowing the buyer to borrow more than the property is worth. In either instance of a physical visit or a desk-based valuation, the surveyor may also provide the mortgage lender with a minimum reinstatement value, which is an approximate figure for how much it might cost to rebuild the property from the ground up and can be useful for getting buildings insurance.

A surveyor can also be hired to value your property if you want to put it on the market. To determine exactly how much you should ask for when selling your property and make sure that you attract the right buyers, the surveyor will visit your property and take a number of features into account to determine its worth. Some of the key factors that are considered in valuing a property include:

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1.     Basic Specifications:

The core and basic specs of the property are typically the biggest contributors to its value. The size of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, fittings, age, layout, and more are all considered during the valuation survey. Unsurprisingly, the more rooms a property has, the larger it is, and the higher the quality of the fittings, the higher the property value will be.

2.     Characteristics:

In some cases, certain characteristics can add to the value of a property. This is especially true for properties that have maintained original period features and fittings over time. For example, in an Edwardian house, the original fireplace or window frames still being intact and in good condition can raise the property’s value compared to having them replaced with newer alternatives.

3.     Looks:

How the property looks will also play a huge role in its value. A property that is well-maintained, clean, in good repair and with good curb appeal is likely to be valued higher than the same size of property in the same location that is in serious need of cleaning, repairs, and modernisation. Often, small yet key additional touches that make a property look more attractive to prospective buyers such as a tidy garden can make a difference in the asking price. A house that has nice views from the inside or the garden, such as the sea, fields or a river, may also fetch a higher asking price.

4.     Location:

Nearby amenities will also be considered when valuing a property. Access to transport links, the number and quality of schools in the area, and the amount of nearby green space will be influential. In addition, the number of popular brands and shops nearby can also play a part.

5.     Potential:

Any potential that the property has for future renovations or expansion can also be significant in determining how much it will fetch on the market. A property that has a lot of space for a large extension to be added or a large loft that could be converted to another bedroom or bathroom in the property is likely to get a higher asking price compared to a property that does not have much potential for extension or renovation. People who are looking to purchase a property to settle down in usually want more options to customise it and are often willing to pay more for this.

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6.     Extra Features:

Finally, there may be additional features in your property that will be considered by the surveyor who carries out the valuation survey. For example, added storage space such as a large garden shed, triple-glazed windows for improved heat efficiency, and high-end features like a swimming pool, sauna or a home gym may also be considered. After the events of 2020, which have led to more people working from home, home office space has become a very desirable factor among people who are looking to purchase a new home. Therefore, this might also be considered during the valuation survey.

How Long Does a Property Valuation Take?

The surveyor will need to visit the property and carry out a thorough inspection of all the above in order to value it before you can put it on the market. Depending on the size and type of your property it will usually last for around an hour or perhaps even longer. The surveyor will then look at what they have found during the inspection along with recent property trends in your area to provide you with a value and asking price.

How Long Will a Property Value Be Valid For?

Since the value of properties can fluctuate and change drastically over time, any valuation that you receive on your home will only be valid for a certain amount of time. A year later, any valuation that you received is unlikely to still be accurate, for example. This is especially true if you have made any improvements or additions to the property that could have increased its value in the meantime, or there have been changes to the amenities in your area like new schools or new shops that could have an impact.

Whether you are buying a property or looking to sell your home, a surveyor will carry out a valuation – either to help you determine the asking price or to confirm the value of the property to your lender.