What is a Valuation Report?
A Valuation Report is a basic inspection of a property that will determine its value. A property surveyor will look at the property’s location and condition.
It’s important to note that a valuation report is not a house survey. A valuation survey will provide an impartial look at the property's true market value to learn if what you're paying for it is accurate.
In this guide, Compare My Move explore the costs and timescale of a Valuation Report as well as the different type of property valuations available.
What is a Property Valuation?
A property valuation will help you set the value of your home and is something that both buyers and sellers will need throughout the moving home process. Here we list the different types of property valuation:
A Valuation Report is an inspection and report of a property that will determine its value, commonly referred to as a Valuation Inspection and Report. It’s important to note, this is not a survey and won’t inform you of any structural damage to the property. A valuation report gives an indication of the value of the property and so it can be widely applied to all property types.
The valuation report will look at the condition and location of your house to provide an estimated value. It’s carried out by a RICS registered property surveyor and is designed to help you set the price of your home for selling.
A mortgage valuation will also determine the value of your home. If you’re planning on using a mortgage to purchase a property, then you’ll need a mortgage valuation to determine the property’s true value and to prove to your mortgage lender you can afford the mortgage.
The mortgage valuation will be for the benefit of the lender and not the buyer and it shouldn’t be mistaken for a property survey. A mortgage valuation shouldn’t be relied on and you must always get a property survey when buying a house.
Estate Agent Valuation
An estate agent’s valuation will also help you set the value of your home. They will use their expert local knowledge of the property market to price your home, looking at similar properties in the area, too. It's worth noting that you will need to compare at least 3 estate agents valuations when it comes to selling your home.
What Does a Valuation Surveyor Look For?
A Valuation Report is not as detailed as the other survey types available, simply providing you with an overall valuation of the property and any obvious defects that could affect the price. It will not highlight any hidden problems which is why a Homebuyers Survey is often recommended. You can even ask for a valuation alongside the Homebuyers Report, ensuring you get more for your money.
The valuation will be based on the surveyor's knowledge of comparable prices concerning the local area and other research. The surveyor will only note down any obvious defects or damage that will affect the property’s price. Unlike the other survey types, you will not be advised on any maintenance or repair work needed. The condition of the property is observed and visible issues like damp, electrical problems and obvious structural damage are highlighted. As it's not as thorough as other inspections, the report is usually only 2-3 pages long.
The main things the surveyor may look for includes:
- whether the property is of traditional, or non-traditional construction
- a brief inspection of the property's overall condition
- obvious signs of damp, structural damage, faulty wiring, roof damage etc.
- if the building has been modernised or refurbished
- whether the number of bedrooms declared is accurate
- how it compares to other houses in the local area
How Much Does a Valuation Report Cost?
A Valuation Report will usually cost around £300-400 for an average house priced between £100,000 and £249,000. As the Valuation Survey isn’t anywhere near as thorough and detailed as the other types, it’s a fair amount cheaper than them. However, taking into consideration the fact that this type of report is a very basic review of the building and only gives details specifically on the condition, then it can be considered as rather expensive for what you get.
|Price of Property||Avg. Cost of Valuation Survey|
|£50,000 - £99,000||£275|
|£100,000 - £249,000||£300-£400|
|£250,000 - £349,000||£450|
|£350,000 - £450,000||£525|
|£550,000 - £650,000||£650|
Data from TSB
How Much is a Mortgage Valuation?
If you’re getting a mortgage valuation, the cost will depend widely on the provider as well as location and size of your property. Although on some occasions, your mortgage provider will include a valuation as part of the deal. It's worth noting that HSBC doesn't add valuation fees onto their residential or buy-to-let mortgages.
Providers usually cost between £150 - £300 for a valuation. Some specific quotes on what a typical home valuation might cost include:
- Halifax at £200
- NatWest and RBS at £273
- Barclays at £265
If your mortgage provider does not make recommendations on which chartered surveyor to work with, or if you choose to look elsewhere in order to get a better price, it’s important to make sure that the provider is accredited by RICS. RICS set the standards for surveyors and offers peace of mind that the individual surveying your house is both knowledgeable and will be accepted by your bank.
Some mortgage lenders have, however, started to offer free valuations. Research by Moneyfacts discovered that, in the past year, the number of residential mortgage deals offering a free or refunded valuation has risen over 15%. This may be tempting to accept, but a Homebuyers Survey would still be a better option as it's a more comprehensive survey, saving you money in the long-run.
How Long Does A Valuation Report Take?
A Valuation Report and a Mortgage Valuation will take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the size of your property. You should then receive the report within 2 to 3 working days unless you have to specifically request to view it first. Let's take a look at the timings associated with a Valuation Report
Here is a basic timeline for how long a mortgage valuation takes to be booked and completed:
Booking the inspection
Although it’s possible to undertake a survey on a building at any point (with the current owner’s permission), it’s most likely that you’ll be undertaking a Valuation Report after you’ve had an offer accepted on a house. This is due to the requirements set out by your mortgage provider that a valuation must be undertaken before they can finalise the mortgage agreement.
Once you've submitted a mortgage application, your lender will most likely want to underwrite the financial position of the case before organising the valuation. The length it takes for a mortgage valuation to be instructed depends on your specific lender. Keep in mind that the time it takes will often increase during busy periods and so it could take up to 5-7 working days for the valuation to even be organised. This may even be doubled if the surveyor themselves are also busy.
You will need to take into consideration the fact that the current owner or tenant could still be occupying the property. It’s key to maintain a good line of communication with both the seller and the surveyor in order to organise a suitable time for the survey to be undertaken.
Good communication with the surveyor will allow you to be aware of what they require access to and if there are any concerns they have so that you can help remedy them in time. However, due to the basic nature of the survey, it’s unlikely that any special effort will need to be made.
On the day
Unlike a Homebuyers Survey or Full Structural Survey, both of which will certainly take a number of hours or even a full day to complete, the Valuation Survey is likely to take a much shorter amount of time. This is based on the fact that they are not looking specifically at any issues or concerns of the building, but are instead looking at its general condition and location in regards to its overall value.
When will you receive the report?
The average time it takes for the lender to receive the report is 2 working days. However, the report will be queued and so it could take another full working week until it's seen. As the valuation report is much shorter and more concise than other surveys, it will take a much shorter amount of time to put together. Which is why it usually only takes a couple of days.
Once your mortgage provider has received the report, they will be able to either confirm that your mortgage has been agreed or determine whether there are any concerns over the overall value. It usually takes 5-10 working days after the valuation is conducted to receive an offer or have the mortgage confirmed.
What Does the Valuation Report Look Like?
As a very basic report, the Valuation Report is easy to read with a very simple layout. In most cases, the information will clearly state the estimated value and will easily be identified.
What's in the report?
The report is likely to be sent as an email, although in some cases it may be received as a printed letter. The report will highlight pieces of information like the estimated value of the property and any potential stress or clear defects. For example, the property may be valued at £300,000, but due to clear damage to the property, this would negatively impact the value leading it to be worth £270,000.
How do you read the report?
As we have mentioned previously, the report is very easy and simple to read. This is due to the fact that it’s a very simple inspection and not very detailed in its results. Due to this, there are no systems such as the traffic light system that are used in the more detailed reports.
If you are having any issues reading the report, you can always ask your mortgage provider to help you go over it. This is within their interest too as it will help them better explain the mortgage plan they are offering to you.
Comparing Valuation, Homebuyers and Building Surveys
In the table below we explore some of the pros and cons of the three main types of survey available to home buyers; Homebuyer Survey, Building Survey or Valuation Survey.
|Valuation Survey||Homebuyers Survey||Building Survey|
Who does it benefit?
What property type is it for?
New build properties or a property you’re looking to obtain a mortgage for
Any type of property that isn't of high risk or over 50 years old
Properties over 50 years old or that are unusually constructed
Completed by a qualified surveyor
Includes a clear traffic light rating
Looks at the condition of the property
Allows you to be fully informed on the property’s condition
Identifies potential problems
Offers professional repair recommendations
Highlights defects and urgent issues
Helps buyers negotiate a better price
Includes information for your conveyancer
For further reading, check out our detailed guides on both the Homebuyers Report and Full Structural Survey, so you're fully informed about the type of survey you need. If you're looking to buy a new build property, check out our guide on the ever-dependable Snagging List too. If you're moving to or within Scotland, you'll want to take a look at our guide on the Home Report as there a few differences between this and the other survey types.