5th November 2020

RICS Property Valuation: What to Expect

We often get asked what goes on behind the scenes of a property valuation so here’s a brief overview of what you can expect. Below I set out the ins and outs of a RICS Property Valuation from instruction to inspection to completion.

Purpose

First and foremost we ask – what is the purpose of your property valuation? Graham Bowcock very kindly pointed out to me the ‘Three D’s’ being the most popular reasons for requiring a property valuation: Death, Debt, Divorce. We do also receive instructions for Dissolution, Sale and Purchase, Tax (Inheritance Tax being a popular one) and Business changes/ Family arrangements. It is important to know the purpose of the valuation from the onset and therefore lay it out in our Terms of Business, in order to ensure both our clients and staff understand the individual requirements of a particular instruction.  

Information

On almost every inspection our Valuer will begin asking some brief background questions of the property. For example, if the property has had any major repair works then we will need to know the details and view the documentation. The beauty of email is if you don’t have the relevant documents to hand, they can be sent through to us following our inspection. However, to keep things prompt we do always appreciate those who have the documents at the ready. 

Leases and tenancy details are important for us to know about- again it is much appreciated if you can provide us with a copy of the agreement which includes information such as the agreement type, term, tenant details and rent.

Some other information we may discuss includes: confirming the legal ownership of the property, detailing any planning consents and viewing plans of the area to be valued (which may differ from the title plan).

Preparation

We always request that you ensure, as far as you can, that we are able to access each room of the property in order to obtain a realistic overall view. We do understand, particularly for ‘probate’ valuations, the property may be unkempt having been left vacant and therefore rooms are cluttered/ inaccessible.  

We are no longer obliged to inspect the “head and shoulders” of the property so you’ll be pleased to know that there is no need to clear out the loft or dust the basement.

Inspection Day

Our inspections are non-intrusive, so we won’t open any cupboards or lift up rugs. We do, however, go into every room (including bedrooms!), check electrical equipment, inspect any outbuildings such as garages, ensure the boundaries of the property match that of the Land Registry Title and take plenty of photographs (more as a reminder to us once back in the office).

In keeping with the advancements of the tech world we now live in, we measure the internals and externals of the property using a digital laser- a very different approach to when Graham first qualified, so he tells me.

If required, we do assist in the valuation of other assets such as livestock and machinery. We also carry out environmental checks such as checking for asbestos and fly tipping in the neighbourhood.

Once we are satisfied that all our inspection boxes are ticked, we are ready to head back to the office and write up the report (I shall save the details of this for another post).

COVID Inspections

A final note about property valuations and COVID (sadly it had to be mentioned). Currently we are able to inspect properties both internally and externally, subject to carrying out a risk assessment prior to our inspection. During the inspection we wear masks and gloves, remain a safe distance from any occupants and, where possible, are extremely prompt as to reduce any unnecessary time spent inside the property. We continue to follow both RICS and the latest Government Guidance and will update any clients who may be affected accordingly.

Our office remains open and we are always happy to chat to you about your property requirements so please do not hesitate to give us a call. In the meantime, we send our best wishes during these unprecedented times and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Lydia Sirovica

Graduate Surveyor

We are no longer obliged to inspect the “head and shoulders” of the property so you’ll be pleased to know that there is no need to clear out the loft or dust the basement.

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