During the buying or selling process, you may end up looking at several different types of valuation each with their own purpose.
Your estate agent, an independent valuation company, a building surveyor, an insurance company, and a mortgage lender can all at one point give you a valuation based on their particular roles in the buying and selling process.
A property valuation tells you how much your home is worth if you were to put it on the market. The process itself is typically very straightforward for residential property – you can do this through an estate agents.
It is possible to get an online valuation at home. These are usually calculated by a computer (not a person) based on your location, property type and current market prices. They can be used as an extremely rough guide to give you some more information when you’re selling your home – but bear in mind that this is not as accurate as a property valuation.
Matrimonial valuations are used in divorce or separation proceedings – the courts use them to determine how the couple’s assets will be divided. These are usually carried out by a qualified surveyor or valuer who has been jointly chosen by the divorcing couple, and they supply their report directly to the court.
After a death, you may need to get a probate valuation of any property or assets the deceased owned so that inheritance tax can be calculated. The government (through HMRC) strongly recommends using a professional surveyor for this.
A mortgage valuation, otherwise known as a basic valuation, usually involves a quick half-hour survey of the property that covers any obvious problems without going into too much detail.
When you’re applying for a mortgage, the lender will make their own estimation of the value of the house you want to buy to make a provisional decision on how much they’re willing to lend you for a mortgage – but most importantly, it can give you a very rough idea of how much you should be paying.
When you are selling or buying property, it’s essential to complement the mortgage valuation with a proper building survey from a professional surveyor - find out if you will need a homebuyers report or a building survey
A retrospective valuation – literally establishing the value of your house on a specific date in the past – may be necessary for tax purposes, if you are involved in legal proceedings, or if you need to establish a value for probate.
If your transaction is subject to capital gains tax, a tax valuation will help you work out how much you need to pay. Understanding what you owe in capital gains tax can get very complex, so many people need a professional valuer. The Inland Revenue may also require a professional tax valuation to be supplied in writing in order to work out stamp duty.
Expert witness valuation
If you’re involved in litigation of a property dispute, expert witness provides a professional, credible survey that can be submitted to or relied upon in court. This includes a valuation as well as a record of any issues or defects with the property, and also information about your lease.
When a surveyor assesses your house, they may also carry out an insurance valuation. The purpose of this is to establish the insurance value of your property based on whether your property would cost more than the average market construction price to re-build if it was bulldozed, burnt down or damaged beyond repair.
Building reinstatement valuations
This is part of your insurance valuation – working out the price of rebuilding your property in the event it’s damaged beyond repair, including any insurance risks involved.