FAQs

All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Survey & Private Valuation Guide

Find out more about the different types of surveys and private valuations you can have carried out.

What is the difference between a Survey and a Valuation?

The vast majority of valuations, either instructed by a private individual or mortgage lender do not require the valuer to undertake a survey of the property. They will, of course, comment on obvious defects that impact the value but this should not be confused with an inspection for survey purposes, where the surveyor will spend the time necessary to identify any faults present. This is why Which? Recommend that anyone buying a property pays for an additional survey to ensure that they are making their decision to buy in full knowledge of the issues ahead of them.

Are there different types of survey?

Yes, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offers three levels of inspection within their Home Surveys package. JOHN GERMAN are pleased to offer the RICS Condition Report, which provides a basic level of survey and comments on faults found, along with the RICS Home Buyer Survey which goes further than the Condition Report by commenting on the level of the purchase price, suggesting what to do next in relation to items of disrepair and it includes an estimate of insurance reinstatement cost.

What types of valuation are there?

The majority of valuations are similar, it is the purpose of the valuation that differs and is critical to how the valuer approaches the valuation. Valuations are needed for matrimonial proceedings, for determining the amount of Inheritance Tax due in order to obtain a grant of Probate, for Housing Association tenants seeking to buy additional equity, for those seeking to either sell their property bought through the government’s Help to Buy scheme or those wishing to buy the scheme providers out.

Do I always need a paid for a probate valuation?

No, a formal valuation is not always required for probate purposes, however, you must take advice from your solicitor and understand the estate’s liability for inheritance tax. If there is a liability you will need a formal probate valuation which is usually charged for.

Who can do a valuation?

If you need a valuation for any of the purposes above you will need an RICS Registered Valuer. These values are monitored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and are subject to the rules and regulation needed to ensure the highest of standards.

What is a Red Book Valuation?

We are often asked to undertake a “Red Book” valuation. The term “Red Book” comes from the colour of the cover of the document: RICS Valuation – Global Standards 2017. This is the standard to which our valuations are undertaken.

What is an Insurance Valuation?

The insurance reinstatement cost of a property should not be confused with its value. As the name suggests, it is the amount it would cost to demolish the damaged building, clear the site and rebuild a replacement plus the cost of all fees etc. This can and, often is very different from the market value of a property. It is often more expensive. Where this is the case it is important to ensure that your reinstatement cost is up to date, otherwise, you may be at risk of underinsuring your home and in the event of a disaster being unable to claim the full cost of rebuilding.

Why do valuations sometimes differ?

Valuation of property is not an exact science. A formal valuation is an evidence-based opinion formed by comparing relevant market data, often in the form of recent property sales, with the property being valued. The valuer will need to take a detailed look at the property to be able to do this and will then apply his or her local knowledge and experience to arrive at the valuation. This will, of course, be a subjective opinion but you can expect valuation figures from multiple professionals to fall within close range of each other because these are all governed by the same strict rules and procedures.