Thinking of selling your property but not sure how much to put it on the market for? Or maybe you’ve owned your home for a long time, and you want to know if its value has changed. Whatever stage you are at in your homeowner journey, a house valuation can help you understand the property market.
Before you put your home up for sale, you’ll need to get it valued. But rest assured: you don’t have to spend a fortune to find out how much your property is worth. In fact, there are several ways to value a property, some more cost-effective than others. The cost will largely depend on how extensive and thorough you need the valuation or property assessment to be.
So, exactly how much does a house valuation cost? And what happens during and after a valuation? Read our guide to find out. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the process and how much it’ll cost.
How much does it cost to get a property valued?
Estate agents will usually complete a house valuation for free. They tend to see property valuations as a great opportunity to pitch their services to you in the hopes that you’ll choose their agency to sell your home (if you decide to put it on the market). You can also get a free valuation online from sites like Zoopla, which will give you a rough guide as to what your home is worth.
However, this isn’t the only way to get your home valued. You can also ask a Chartered Surveyor to appraise a property, which can cost anywhere between £150 and £1500. The price depends on how in-depth the valuation is, the size of the property, and whether you choose a surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Alternatively, mortgage lenders also offer property valuations, usually costing upwards of £150.
The cost of a bank valuation (such as HSBC or Nationwide) depends on the price of your property. For example, if your home is worth around £100,000, you might be charged £225 for the valuation. However, if your property is worth up to £1,000,000, you may have to pay £625.
What is a house valuation?
A house valuation is an assessment of a property to determine how much it is worth based on factors such as location, condition, and size. These assessments are carried out by a professional surveyor who will thoroughly assess your home, along with taking pictures and notes. Once they have completed their assessment, they will then send you a valuation report which you can use to help you price your property if you decide to put it on the market.
Types of property valuation
There are a few different types of property valuation available. Let’s take a look at the main ones in more detail:
You might contact a few estate agents and ask them to complete a property valuation. This is the cheapest option because most estate agents offer this service for free. They will look around your house for around 20 to 30 minutes to get a feel for the property and area. They will also research the local area and see how much other nearby properties have sold for or how long they have been on the market.
It’s a good idea to get the opinion of a few estate agents because they use different assessment methods and might give you estimates that vary significantly. You can take the average from the various valuations if there is a large difference.
A mortgage lender conducts a mortgage valuation to establish the value of a property and if it has suitable security for the loan you applied for. This type of valuation is for the lender’s benefit rather than you as the property owner.
The mortgage lender may not have to visit the property to carry out the valuation. The process usually takes between one to two weeks. If the property is valued at a lower price than expected, it can affect how much you can borrow and the rates you are offered.
When a couple separates or gets divorced, they may request a matrimonial valuation to establish the market value of the property and how the joint property assets can be divided between the two people.
This type of valuation is typically carried out by a valuer who has been chosen by one or both persons. If there is a dispute between the two parties, the valuer can act as a witness and issue a testimony should the case go to court.
RICS Residential Property Valuation
A property valuation conducted by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) assesses the build, size and location of a property. The surveyors compare the property to similar properties that have recently sold in the area.
An RICS valuation is usually valid for three months after it has been issued. They are typically the only type of valuation accepted by banks as they are a fair and accurate market valuation. Estate agent valuations are also carefully considered, but estate agents usually conduct them with the hope of making a sale. The valuation could be influenced by the desire to make a sale quickly or earn more commission.
You may need to get a property valued for Inheritance Tax purposes. The valuation can help determine whether Inheritance Tax has to be paid or not as well as how much needs to be paid. It can also ensure that debts are paid and that the estate is properly divided between the named beneficiaries.
This type of valuation takes into account the ownership of the property (such as the tenancy terms or if the property is a leasehold), as well as the property’s development potential.
An online valuation is usually conducted by an automated system rather than a person. It will base the valuation on property type and size, as well as the current market prices for similar properties. This type of valuation can be a good rough guide, but it’s important to remember that they aren’t as accurate as other types of property valuations.
When should I get a property valuation?
The beginning of a new financial year is a good time to organise a property valuation. You may find that there is enough equity created from the property’s increased value that you can place a deposit on another property.
You should also get a valuation if you think you might want to move in the near future. The valuation will tell you how much you can sell your property for, which will give you a better idea of your budget for purchasing a new property.
It’s a good idea to get a property valuation if you are looking to do renovations on your house. You need to know whether your renovation plans will add value to your property or if you are over capitalising. An estate agent or valuer can suggest renovations that will add to your property’s value rather than take away from it.
You may want to remortgage your property, which is a good time to get an accurate valuation of your property so that you can try and get a good deal. However, the mortgage lenders will check the valuation, so it’s important you find an estate agent or valuer who can give you a good estimate.
It’s important to get a property valuation if you get divorced or if you’re the executor of someone’s will. You need to know the property’s value and assets so that they can be properly distributed between the relevant parties. The property’s value will also influence how much (if any) Inheritance Tax you pay if you inherit a property after someone dies.
When is there a charge for property valuations?
Estate agents usually conduct property valuations for free. You could also use an online tool to get an estimate, although these should be taken as a rough guide rather than an accurate value.
However, if you want a more accurate valuation, such as an RICS Chartered Surveyor Valuation, you will have to pay a one-off valuation fee. This can vary from £100 for a basic valuation and up to £1,500 for an advanced, in-depth survey. A valuation fee covers the cost of a valuer coming to your property, conducting a detailed inspection and writing up the report and price estimate.
How to find out what a property is worth
There are various ways you can find out what a property is worth or the last price it sold for. You can look at similar properties for sale in the area and consider the asking price. This can help give you an idea before you even consider getting a professional valuation done.
You can fill out a form on the HM Land Registry to find out the previous transactions for a property. These transactions would be more relevant if they were completed recently. Transactions from a few years or decades ago will have been done when the market and economy were completely different, which will mean the current property value may be more or less. Any changes to the property and surrounding area can also change the property value from what it used to be worth.
Benefits of a property valuation
It’s a good idea to pay for a valuation if you need an accurate valuation rather than a rough estimate. This may be because you are involved in legal proceedings (such as a divorce or as an executor of a will) and you need to use the valuation as evidence.
You could also pay for a valuation if you want to sell your property quickly. If the property is listed for an accurate price, it’s less likely to stay on the market for too long because buyers won’t think it’s overpriced.
Getting a free valuation by an estate agent is a good option if you’re hoping to move in the future and want to gauge how much you could have to buy a new property. It gives you a good starting point to look at your finances and work out whether you could buy a bigger property or how much you might have left over if you downsize.
There are several factors that affect the value of a house. If your property valuation is less than you thought, it can help you to identify potential problems. For example, the estate agent may tell you that the condition of the roof needs improving to increase the market value. Or they may suggest you change the layout of a few rooms to make the property more desirable, such as knocking down a wall to make the kitchen and dining room open plan.