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Can a RICS chartered surveyor value a house?

What does home buying in the UK mean to most people? Mortgages and years’ worth of savings and future income. According to Forbes, the average British home now lists on the market at about £275,000 (December 2021). For reference, it was closer to £250,000 just one year earlier.

As such, when purchasing a new property, it’s crucial to know that you’re paying an acceptable amount for it. That’s where a valuation can help. 

This article will answer whether a RICS chartered surveyor can value a house (yes – they can) and why it’s a good idea.

How do RICS chartered surveyors value property?

RICS chartered surveyors can value property. They’re specifically trained to do so accurately, fairly and efficiently. When a person submits an offer for a house on the market, they aren’t bound to any legal contract. It’s at this point that a chartered surveyor is usually instructed by the mortgage lender to carry out a RICS valuation. They will use a few different factors to assess the value of the property in question, based on its size, location, condition and a few other variables.

What is a RICS valuation?

A RICS – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – valuation is a survey of a home to determine its market value. They are often used for probate or capital gains tax purposes, or for the redemption of shared ownership or help to buy equity loans. There are many different things to consider when a house is valued. That’s why RICS surveyors spend such a long time (usually six years, in total) learning how to do it properly.

How do valuations differ from home surveys?

Valuations are primarily for mortgage lenders, to help them understand and assess the value of a property and any major risks that may affect it before they decide how much to lend. However, some homebuyers may choose to get a valuation as part of a home survey, to give them peace of mind that they are not paying vastly over the odds for the property they are interested in.

From a lender’s perspective, 80%-90% of a property’s value lies in its size and location. So, any defects or repairs might not affect the property’s value, but they could cost the homeowner or buyer thousands of pounds to put right. That’s why, as a homebuyer, it’s essential to get a home survey, rather than a valuation, before you buy, as this will help ensure you are aware of any potential defects or problems that could leave you facing a hefty bill after the deal is done.

While a valuation will give you a clear idea about the price of the property, a home survey will help you understand any potential issues and costs before purchase, so you can either negotiate on price or get the vendor to sort them out before you buy. At the very least, a home survey will help ensure you are going into the purchase with your eyes wide open, and you understand any potential future cost implications before you decide to proceed.

What RICS house surveys are available?

In addition to valuations, there are two types of RICS home surveys:

  • A Home Survey Level 2 goes into a lot more detail than a valuation and comes with a detailed report on potential issues and other findings. It’s usually ordered by anyone buying a standard home built using an approved construction method.
  • With a Home Survey Level 3, the chartered surveyor will go even more in-depth. These surveys are the most advanced we offer and have a special focus on a property’s structure. Of course, the Level 3 report is even more detailed than the Level 2. A Home Survey Level 3 is best for a buyer purchasing a non-standard property, such as a converted or historic building.

You can request a valuation with both these home surveys, and repair cost estimates can also be provided for an optional extra fee.

GB Home Surveys and house valuations

Here at GB Home Surveys, while we can provide RICS valuations, we recommend homebuyers get a home survey for complete peace of mind. Our chartered surveyors are all RICS members and have spent years learning the job. We’re all passionate about creating a report that’s genuinely useful to you in your home buying experience and often tailor these documents to your specific queries and requests.

We’re now quickly spreading across much of central England, including Gloucestershire, Birmingham, Coventry, Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and South Wales. Feel free to get in touch with us for a friendly chat and to receive a completely obligation-free quote! We’ll always be happy to help, and we hope we can help you along with your prospective new house. Give us a call on 03333 600 685 or email us at contact@gbhomesurveys.co.uk.

Looking for a quote, or maybe you have a question? Get in touch today.

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