What is it?
A lender’s valuation is specific to the property you’re looking to buy. It’s a survey that gives the lender an independent confirmation of the property’s value – including checking the prices of similar properties sold in the area.
The valuation also tells the lender if there are any features or significant defects that could affect the property’s value. After all, the lender is lending money against this property, so they have to be sure it’s the right type of property – and at the right price.
Keep in mind that if the property you’re looking to buy isn’t the kind the lender will lend against, such as being in a high risk flood zone, above a shop or restaurant, or really run down, they might refuse your mortgage application.
The house buying process is a bit different in Scotland, so the content of this page will not all apply. Your mortgage lender may rely on a mortgage valuation arranged by the vendor. Money Advice Service has more detail about buying property in Scotland.
The lender will instruct a surveyor of their choice to conduct the valuation, which then typically takes place within two weeks.
Keep in mind that the valuation report is for the lender’s benefit – and often only 2 to 3 pages in length. If you would like to see it you might be able to, but not all lenders will provide you with a copy. Though they might let you know if the survey flagged any serious issues.
It’s not a detailed survey and won’t tell you what repairs or maintenance you might need to carry out. If that’s what you’re after, take a look below to find out about the other types of survey you could get.
Who pays for it?
You will have to pay the lender’s valuation fee when you make your application. Some lenders don’t charge for valuations, so check your Key Facts Illustration to be sure.
Other types of surveys
Want more peace of mind when it comes to the condition of your property? Then it’s better to look at getting a more in-depth survey. This can usually be done at the same time as the lender’s valuation. Just keep in mind that this will cost you extra.
If the survey flags any serious issues, you could discuss with the vendor whether this has any impact on the price.
If the property you’re looking to buy is a conventional property in reasonable condition, then a HomeBuyer Report will probably be enough. The cost will start in the region of £400 depending on the size and value of the property – but it could save you money in the long run by identifying any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp.
Keep in mind, though, that the HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls. You will get a report with recommendations with regard to repairs, together with the approximate costs to fix them.
This is the most comprehensive survey that you can get. It can cost £600 or more, depending on the size, type and value of the property you’re buying, and will give you a full breakdown of the structure and condition that it’s in.
It’s much more thorough than a HomeBuyer Report, and will flag internal and exterior problems. The surveyor will be much more hands on, going into the attic, checking under the eaves, if relevant, as well as under the floorboards if necessary.
It’s especially useful if you’re buying a much older or more unusual property, or one in poor condition, since it will give you a clear picture of the works you’ll need to carry out.