We’ve spoken before about why it’s so important to have a property survey, and have hopefully cleared up some of the confusion around which survey is the best for different types of property. However, many people are also confused about another key service offered by RICS surveyors: property valuations.

One factor is that lots of buyers and homeowners are unsure about the difference between an estate agent’s estimate and a formal valuation. Simply put, an estate agent is making a judgement about the sale price they can achieve in order to win your business, while a Chartered Surveyor will provide an accurate value based on available evidence and facts.

By commissioning a property valuation from a surveyor, you will know the true market value of your home, rather than just an estate agent’s estimate about what it might fetch. When might this be useful? Read on to find out…

Buying or selling

As we mentioned above, estate agents are trying to conduct business and use their estimates as a tool. Because of this, both buyers and sellers can benefit from a formal valuation to make more educated decisions about offers and sale prices. Buyers can be in for a shock when lenders won’t agree to finance an inflated asking price, while vendors can struggle to sell an over-priced property or lose out financially when someone snaps up an under-priced one.

Refinancing

When it comes to refinancing your property, many lenders will insist that you have a formal valuation carried out to confirm your home’s current value. Whether you’re looking to free up some equity or get a better rate on your mortgage, a valuation will provide accurate information for planning your finances.

Changing circumstances

Valuations are highly beneficial in times of change, such as marriage, separation or when someone passes away. If you are planning to add someone to the title of your home, buy out a co-owner or otherwise change the distribution of ownership, a valuation will accurately determine the value of the percentage you’re going to buy, sell or pass to someone else. This is particularly important if you bought the property many years ago or has undergone significant changes, as its value is likely to have increased considerably.

Understanding your equity

Many homeowners simply won’t have checked the value of their home since purchasing it. A valuation could reveal that its increase in value gives you enough equity to renovate, build a conversion or extension or even put down a deposit for another property.

Maximising the return on an investment

Maybe you’re already planning to renovate or extend your home to boost its value. Before getting started on major modifications, it’s always worth having a professional assessment of how much it will increase your property’s worth. Compare this estimation with your projected costs to check the kind of margin, if any, you can expect if you proceed.

Accurate home insurance coverage

It’s absolutely essential that your home is insured for the appropriate amount. If it’s over-insured you’re going to be paying more than you need to in premiums, while under-insurance can cause difficulties in the event of a claim. In the event of a claim, many providers will take into account how much you are underpaying by and only release the equivalent amount of funds. Get a professional to provide you with a full reinstatement cost and adjust your premiums accordingly.

If you are anticipating a change in circumstances or would simply like to have a professional opinion of your home’s current value, please get in touch with our team at Daily Move. Our experienced surveyors work with property all across London and Essex and can provide a timely valuation on one or several properties for any purpose.