Valuation Surveys

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A RICS Valuation Survey is the simplest type of property inspection and is usually required by a Financial Institution (Bank, Building Society or Finance Provider), when they are considering providing a mortgage.

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A valuation is required when a property is bought using a mortgage or a shared equity scheme, such as Help to Buy, HomeBuy Direct or Right to Buy scheme. Unlike estate agents’ valuation, a RICS Valuation Report has a legal status and is no conflict of interest because the surveyors do not earn commission.

A RICS valuation is useful when you wish to take advantage of Right to Buy scheme to check that your landlord’s valuation is fair and accurate. Also, RICS valuations are carried out for mortgage purposes and are required when a shared ownership property, for example purchased through Help to Buy, is sold or re-mortgaged.

A RICS valuation survey needs to be carried by an independent RICS Registered Valuer, which will assess how much the property is worth using criteria set out in RICS “Red Book” guidance document which differs from an estate agents’ valuation appraisal. 

Surveyors inspect the construction, size, condition and location of the property by going through a thorough technical assessment in combination with a sale price comparison of three properties in the close vicinity that have recently sold.

What does RICS Valuation mean?

A  RICS Valuation Report will include: 

  • an inspection of the building by a RICS regulated professional near you;
  • an overview of the property, its construction, location, general condition with photographic proof;
  • details of three comparable properties nearby that have been sold recently;
  • the valuation is based on RICS “Red Book” ensuring an accurate estimation and needing to meet the RICS Valuation Standards;
  • recorded evidence used during the assessment to inform surveyor valuation along with any assumptions and/or limitation made by the professional to reach their conclusion;
  • a signed report carried by a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which is valid for 3 months from the date of the report.

When is a RICS Valuation Survey suitable?

The necessity of RICS Valuations is determined by different financial institutions when they insist that independent valuations need to be carried over for mortgage purposes, or to make sure that the money they loan to the buyer is a safe investment. 

Usually, the RICS valuations for residential properties arranged by the banks themselves and the reports are not shown to the borrower.

More and more people are using an independent RICS valuation survey when they enter into a shared ownership scheme, such as Help to Buy. You will need a valuation if you want to sell a shared owned property or if you like to repay the loan.

Also, you may want to get a RICS valuation as part of a HomeBuyer or Building Survey, to make sure you pay the correct property value at that specific time in the market.


Why you Should not use just the estate agent valuation

Because an estate agents’ valuation appraisals can influence the sale price for different reasons, such as the desire for a quick move, a better commission, to secure a client, a surveyor valuation is considered to be the best option when comes to get an accurate market value. 

A RICS Surveyor is accountable for their valuation, which means that they need to provide detailed evidence showing their process of their estimate. For this reason, RICS valuations are the only valuations accepted by most banks, Help to Buy and shared ownership schemes. 

Also, the regulated RICS professionals, such as RICS Chartered Surveyors or RICS Registered Valuer, must stick to a standardized process and valuation guidelines (known as RICS “Red Book”).

What happens if Your valuation expires?

A RICS Valuation is valid for three months, but if you contact your surveyor within 2 weeks of the expiration date, most will do a desktop research to check the if the estimate could be extended, which means that could be valid for 3 more months. 

Our partners, will offer a free of charge extension if your sale, repayment or remortgage has not gone through within the initial 3-month period (dependable on each partner t&c).

What if Your Valuation is too high or too low?

Sometimes, you will find that a Help to Buy survey valuation or a shared ownership valuation can be higher or lower than expected. If the valuation is higher means that you owe the government or housing association that provided your loan more money.

Fortunately for Help to Buy homeowners, the government extended maximum mortgage period from 25 to 35 years, so re-mortgage is now easier and more affordable. 

In case of a home buying process, a valuation which is too low could affect your ability to secure the necessary amount through mortgage. Given the thorough nature of RICS valuation, it is rare that a figure would be amended. 

However, if you think you have valid evidence that the valuation should be reconsidered, you should contact your surveyor and talk to them.

FAQs answered

We’ve collated the most asked questions about property valuations and answered them in our “What is a Property Valuation? FAQs Answered” guide. Please feel free to read our comprehensive article using the above link.

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