What Is A House Valuation And How Much Does It Cost?

What Is A House Valuation And How Much Does It Cost?

Different types of house valuation are standard procedure when buying property. Find out about them here and discover how Moving Buddies can help you in your house move. Compare Estate agent fees today

Discovering the value of your home before listing it for sale is essential. Typically, knowledgeable estate agents evaluate various aspects of your property to assess its value to potential buyers. The great news is that this initial valuation stage doesn’t come with any price tag – it is completely free!

However, if you desire a more in-depth assessment, there are additional options to consider. Read on to gather all the information you need regarding property valuations and their associated costs.

Compare Estate agents here. We analyse the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.

Who Charges For Valuations?

Traditional estate agents will provide valuations without any charge, and there is no obligation to sell your home with them. However, there are certain services that do charge for valuations:

    1. Chartered surveyors: They can provide accurate house valuations, but their services come with a fee starting from £300.

    1. Mortgage lenders: They also conduct valuations to determine the property’s worth before loaning money. Apart from other fees, you’ll typically pay an extra £100 or so for this valuation. It’s important to note that the lender won’t approve the mortgage amount until the valuation is completed.

Reach out to chartered surveyors for precise valuations, and be prepared for the additional cost if you’re working with mortgage lenders.

Compare Estate agent fees UK and make your home buying or selling a simple and easy process.

Types Of House Valuations And Fees

Let’s look at the following types of valuations in more detail, and how much you can expect to spend. There are 4 main types of valuation you will experience:

Property Valuation Type   Average Cost
Estate agent valuation   Free
Independent house valuation   From £300 to £600, relative to property size.
RICS valuation   From £500 or over £1,000 in complex cases
Mortgage valuation   From £150, the charge usually increases relative to the home value

Estate agent valuation

With an Estate agent valuation, an estate agent will visit your home, for free, to give you an idea of what is worth. This valuation will then be used to determine your asking price when marketing your property. Estate agents will use multiple factors to decide how much your house is worth. Compare Estate agents here. 

Independent House Valuation

This is when a neutral third party (unconnected to the buyer or seller) comes to view the property to give an unbiased opinion on the value. This is usually an independent surveyor or a chartered surveyor and will cost upwards of £300.


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) can value properties, and provide surveys. These are most often used in the buying process, and not before a house is put up for sale, but in some cases, they can be. For example, if you are buying or selling a property using the government’s Help To Buy for shared equity then you may need RICS surveys before listing the home, or completing a sale.

Mortgage Valuation

A mortgage valuation is a specific type of assessment done by the mortgage lender to help them confirm a property’s value. It’s also used to see if the property will be adequate security for the loan you’ve applied for. Your lender will usually arrange a mortgage valuation. 

What Is A Mortgage Valuation?

Sometimes called valuation surveys, mortgage valuations are conducted purely for the benefit of your lender. They are done because lenders need to be sure that the money they lend you is a worthwhile investment. Your property must be worth enough to justify the loan.

In other words, mortgage valuations help lenders decide whether or not the price you are paying for the property is fair. 

However, the extent of this kind of survey is limited.

Compare Estate agent fees UK and make your home buying or selling a simple and easy process.

What Is The Difference Between A Mortgage Valuation And A House Survey?

Mortgage valuations are for the benefit of the lender, even though you may have to pay for the valuation yourself. They are limited in scope.

House surveys are conducted for the benefit of the buyer. Unlike mortgage valuations, home buyer’s reports and full structural surveys are more in depth. They will uncover defects that may be missed by a valuation survey. 

In short: 

    • A house survey will provide peace of mind to buyers over the condition of the property. 

    • Mortgage valuations help lenders make a decision on the validity of the loan amount requested.

Do I Need A Mortgage Valuation And A House Survey?

In most cases, you will need both. As mentioned above, mortgage valuations and house surveys differ in purpose. Buyers shouldn’t proceed purely on the outcome of the former.

However, sometimes a home buyer’s report will include a valuation as well. There is a catch though – many lenders won’t accept them. Check the small print. This is especially important if the inclusion of a valuation in the home buyer’s report incurs an additional fee.

How Are Mortgage Valuations Conducted?

Your lender will instruct a surveyor to carry out the mortgage valuation. This may or may not be done in person. Whether or not the surveyor will actually visit the property will be determined by several factors, which can vary considerably between lenders.

    • ‘Drive-by valuations are becoming more and more commonplace, and some mortgage valuations won’t even require that. 

    • Desk-based valuations are not unheard of, and they are conducted by analysing various data points such as Land Registry and local house price statistics held by the lender themselves. 

These figures are fed into an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) (an algorithm built for the task) to provide the surveyor with a valuation of the property in question.

By avoiding visiting properties in person, surveyors are able to lower the fees they charge. This cost-cutting allows lenders to offer free mortgage valuations as an enticement to prospective clients, so there are benefits to all concerned.

Compare Estate agents here. We analyse the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.

What Is Considered In A Mortgage Valuation?

If your lender requires a physical inspection of the property, you might be wondering what exactly they are going to look at.

Here are a few things that may be looked for:

    • Damp

    • Potential risk of damage from nearby trees

    • External cladding

    • Suspicion of structural movement

    • Unclear lease terms

    • State of the roof tiles

    • If the surveyor suspects the property is concrete built

What Does A Mortgage Valuation Tell You?

As the buyer, very little. Don’t expect too much information about the property to flow back to you. In some instances, you won’t even see the final report. The surveyor will inform your lender of their findings, but you may well be left in the dark – even if you paid for it.

Do I Pay For A Mortgage Valuation? 

Many lenders offer mortgage valuations free of charge in order to win your business. However, this isn’t always the case. The valuation fee can vary from £250 to £1,500. This will be dependent on the value of the property being surveyed. The results are usually back within a fortnight.

What Happens After The Mortgage Valuation?

After the mortgage valuation the surveyor will report back to the lender with their findings. If the valuation matches the loan amount requested, the lender will make a decision on whether or not to grant your mortgage offer. In most cases, this will be a formality.

For those whose valuation falls short of the asking price, you may receive what is known as a ‘down valuation’. For sellers, a down valuation could result in a lost sale. Even the best case scenario for sellers is that they will likely have to accept less than their asking price for the sale to continue.

You might expect buyers to be in a contrasting position, but it isn’t as straightforward as that. Down valuations may result in a cheaper purchase, but not always. The seller is under no obligation to negotiate and they may flat out refuse to match the mortgage valuation.

Equally, a lender isn’t going to offer more than the mortgage valuation prices the property at. You could be left with a situation where the only way to proceed is to find the difference in cash. Naturally, this isn’t a viable option for most buyers.

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