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What is a Valuation Survey?

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
6th April 2018 (Last updated on Tuesday 16th April 2019)

A Valuation is the most basic type of property survey, and will give you an accurate idea of the value of the property you are purchasing along with any clear damage. This survey is as much for your mortgage provider as it is for you, and is the cheaper survey option.

When you buy a home, you will want to make sure you are getting a fair deal. This will offer you peace of mind that you are not paying over the odds for a property. It will also allow you to get a mortgage and effectively fund your new purchase. Without a reliable valuation, it is possible that your new purchase is based on a false price which could cause all sorts of issues for you and the mortgage provider.

In this guide, we look specifically at a valuation surveys, what type of property it can be used for, exactly what it is and what it covers. We will also cover associated costs, timings such as when and how to book the survey, how long it will take and when you will receive the report.  Finally, we compare a property valuation to a number of other options including a Homebuyers Survey and Full Structural Survey.

This article will cover the following points

What Type of Property is it for? Valuation and Mortgages How Much Does a Property Valuation Cost How Long Does A Valuation Survey Take? What Does the Valuation Report Look Like? Comparing Valuation, Homebuyers, and Building Surveys Save on Your Valuation

What Type of Property is it for?

A valuation can be used on any type of property. This is unlike a Homebuyers or Building Survey, that often depend on the ages, structure or condition of the building. A valuation simply gives an indication of the value of the property so can widely be applied to all houses.

The only occasion where a standard valuation may not be suitable is where the building has some sort of cultural or historical importance. In these rare cases, you may need to seek specialist help from a surveyor who understands these nuances.

Not sure if you need anything more than the basic Valuation? Take a read of our guide on why you should get a property survey to measure up the cost and the risks.

Valuation and Mortgages

Getting a valuation is generally a vital part of getting a mortgage. As the name suggests, the home valuation survey provides you with a valuation of your property or a property on which you would like to make an offer. This is important for a number of reasons.

Firstly, knowing the value of the property will allow you to understand whether what you have offered or what you plan on offering is a fair and reasonable price. It is also almost always required when making an application for a mortgage that a valuation is made in order for it to be successful.

In some cases, your valuation may cause issues with the overall purchase of a property. Take for example that you have had an offer accepted on a new home for £300k. However, when your valuation survey is undertaken it comes in at £250k. This is common as often you will need to pay ‘over the odds’ in highly competitive markets. However, in most cases a mortgage provider will only pay 80-90% of a total properties value, meaning that they will only pay out £200k to £225k towards this house. This will lead to the buyer having to find a £100k to £75k deposit based on this valuation, as opposed to £60k to £30k if the property was valued at the £300k offered.

In these cases, the valuation survey may be used to renegotiate the accepted price of the property, however in very competitive markets this may not always be an option.

How Much Does a Property Valuation Cost

A Valuation Survey will usually cost around £300-400 for an averagely priced house between £100,000 and £249,000. As the valuation survey does not touch on anywhere near the depth of its alternatives, it is a fair amount cheaper than them. However, taking into consideration the fact that this type of survey is a very basic review of the building and only really gives details specifically on the condition or areas of concern, then it can be considered expensive for what you get.

Price of PropertyAvg. 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

The cost of a survey depends widely on the provider as well as the location and size of the property. Although on some occasions your mortgage provider will include a valuation survey as part of the deal, it is likely that you will need to pay for this and your mortgage provider will make suggestions as to their preferred provider of the survey.

To give an indication of potential costs, 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 £275
  • Barclays at £265
  • HSBC at £250

If your mortgage provider does not make recommendations on which surveyor to work with, or if you choose to look elsewhere in order to get a better price, it is 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.

How Long Does A Valuation Survey Take?

A Valuation will take between 30 minutes and an hour depending on the size of the property, and you should receive the report with 2 to 3 working days. Let's take a look at the timings associated with a valuation. 

Booking the survey

Although it is possible to undertake a survey on a building at any point (with the current owner’s permission), it is most likely that you will be undertaking a valuation survey after you have 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 that the mortgage has been accepted.

You will need to take into consideration the fact that at this point the current owner or tenant will still be occupying the property. It is key to maintain a good line of communication both with the seller as well as the surveyor in order to organise a suitable time for the survey to be undertaken.

Good communication with the surveyor will also allow you to make sure that you know of any access or other concerns they have before time so you can help remedy them. However, due to the basic nature of the survey it is unlikely that any special effort will need to be made ahead of time.

On the day

Unlike a Homebuyers 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 instead looking at its general condition and location in regards to the overall value of the property.

To give an indicator of the time this type of survey may take, it is likely to take 20-30 minutes for smaller houses and up to an hour for larger homes.

When will you receive the report?

As the valuation report is much shorter and more concise than other surveys, it will take a much shorter time to put together and get the information over to you. In most cases this will take a couple of days, although at busier times this may take up to 5 to 7 working days to complete.

Once your mortgage provider has received the report they will be able to either confirm that your mortgage has been agreed or whether there are any concerns over the overall value in line with what you have applied for.

What Does the Valuation Report Look Like?

As a very simply piece of information, the valuation survey is easy to read. 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 may be received as a printed letter. In most cases the report will take the form of a letter, highlighting pieces of information including the estimated value of the property as well as any potential stress or clear defects which effect the value of the property. For example, the property may be valued at £300k, but due to clear damage to the property this would negatively impact the value leading it to be worth £270k.

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 is simple and not in depth at all. Due to this there are no systems such as the traffic light system that are used in more detailed reports.

If you are having any issues reading the report, you can always ask you mortgage provider to help you understand it. This is within their interest as it will help them explain better the mortgage they are offering to you.

Comparing Valuation, Homebuyers, and Building Surveys

A valuation survey may be all you choose to opt for when buying a home. However, as it goes into very little depth around the actual condition of the building and any potential concerns about ongoing maintenance that may be required or hidden issues, it may be worth considering some other options.

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.

ValuationHomebuyers SurveyBuilding Survey


  • Useful in helping you secure a mortgage on the property.
  • Helps you ensure you are not paying over the odds for the property.
  • Often paid for by your mortgage provider.
  • Excellent for the majority of homes.
  • Highlights most common areas of concern based on the general condition of the building.
  • Relatively low cost compared to building survey.
  • Excellent for older homes, those that may have structural issues or are built in an unconventional way.
  • Comprehensive and thorough survey with hands on approach, access difficult to reach areas.
  • Can include projected costing and timelines for any repairs.
  • Useful if you plan to convert or extend a property.


  • Gives no details on the condition of the property or any potential issues that may be faced.
  • Only areas that are easily accessible are surveyed.
  • Areas such as drains and under carpets are not accessed or assessed.
  • Does not necessarily include a valuation of the property.
  • Dependent on the size of the property it can take up to a day to complete.
  • The most expensive type of survey.

For further reading check out our detailed guides on both the home buyers report and full structural survey, so you're fully informed about the survey you may need. If you're looking to buy a new build property, check out our guide on the ever dependable snagging list too.

Plus, if you're moving within or to Scotland, you'll want to take a look at our guide on The Home Report.

Save on Your Valuation

We hope this guide has made you fully informed on all aspects of your Valuation, and that you're ready to make your choice of survey type. For some more helpful reading, check out our guide on common issues highlighted by property surveys, so you know what to expect in advance.

When you're ready, remember to use Compare My Move to compare and save on your survey costs. We've partnered up with the best in RICS accredited surveyors, to save you money when it matters most. Just fill in a quick and easy form, compare surveyors, saving you time and money.