1. Home
  2. Surveyors
  3. Advice
  4. When to Get a Property Valuation

Table of contents

    When to Get a Property Valuation

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 26th Jun, 2024

    Reviewed by Emily Smith

    Wondering if you need a property valuation? Here are some circumstances where it’s necessary.

    When to Get a Property Valuation

    There are several situations where you might need to know an up-to-date market value for a property. Get Quotes

    Paying off your Help to Buy: Equity Loan 

    The Help to Buy: Equity Loan was a government scheme, introduced in 2013, where the buyer saves up a 5% deposit and gets a loan for an additional 20% (40% in London), which is interest-free for the first five years.

    It was designed to support First Time Buyers struggling to get on the property ladder by making up the shortfall between the amount a buyer might get approved for a mortgage, and the property price itself. You can no longer apply for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan for properties in England. However, you can still apply in Wales.

    If you used a Help to Buy Equity Loan to purchase your property, you’ll need a property valuation once you decide to pay the loan back, which for most people is when they sell the property.

    As the loan was worked out as a percentage of the property price when you were given it, the same will happen to find out how much you owe when you pay it off, and to do that you need an up-to-date market valuation. 

    Read more about the Help to Buy Equity loan.

    Staircasing with your Shared Ownership property 

    Shared Ownership is another governmental scheme. It allows you to buy a proportion of a property with the other part owned by a housing association. You pay mortgage repayments on the proportion you own and a reduced rent on the proportion you don’t. 

    Some people buy Shared Ownership with the aim of ‘staircasing’ – gradually buying more and more of the property until they own it outright. 

    As it is purchased in percentage increments (e.g. 10% at a time), every time the owner staircases, they’ll need to get a valuation to work out how it impacts their payments and what that percentage costs to own. 

    Read more about Shared Ownership.

    Probate 

    If you’re the executor of someone’s will you’ll need to value their estate as part of the probate process. If their assets include property, then you’ll need to get a property valuation. 

    This is important because the value of their estate determines how much inheritance tax will need to be paid.

    As a result, whilst you are allowed to estimate the value of the property yourself, it’s a good idea to get it valued professionally just to be sure, especially if the estimated value of the house puts the estate over or close to the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000. 

    Read more about the probate process

    Divorce 

    When you get divorced, all your assets will be taken into account in the divorce settlement, which includes property.

    Knowing the monetary value your property represents is essential, not only for fair division but also to potentially protect assets from divorce during the proceedings. A professional valuation can provide you with a clear picture of your properties worth. 

    What happens to property during the divorce process can be a substantial worry for some. More information about what happens to a property in a divorce

    Selling your property 

    If you’re selling a property, you can either try to set your asking price yourself or you can get a professional valuation.

    Getting an expert opinion is a good idea – you want to be able to get the best price possible for your property, but you don’t want to ask for too much and put off potential buyers. 

    If you decide to set the asking price yourself, a good starting point it to see what similar-sized houses nearby are selling for. 

    Buying a property 

    Although it’s relatively unusual to get a valuation on a property you’re buying, some people like to get one done just to check that they’re paying a fair price for the property. It could even be included in the survey, so you don’t need to organise a separate visit. 

    How to get a property valuation 

    You can get a property valuation from a Building Surveyor or, if you’re selling your property, from an estate agent. 

    We’ll always recommend going with a surveyor. They’re professionals in considering quality and structural integrity of a building, and, if you get it done as part of a survey, they can directly advise you on how improvements and repairs might affect the price.

    There is always the risk that an estate agent has been optimistic in their estimate to encourage you to hire them to sell your house.

    If you’re after an honest, unbiased estimate, a surveyor is the way to go. 

    How long does a property valuation take?

    Typical property valuations take around 20 minutes to an hour to complete depending on the size and complexity of the property.

    You should expect to wait a few days for your valuation to come back. Therefore, it’s important to take this into account when booking your valuation.

    Property valuation FAQs

    How much does it cost to get a house valuation done?

    A house valuation with an estate agent can be free. Estate agents may offer this as part of their other services so it’s important to check if there are any strings attached to your free valuation.

    If you are looking for a more detailed and accurate valuation, we recommend using a surveyor. Getting a valuation from a chartered surveyor usually will cost you £250 upwards depending on the surveyor.

    Should you clean house before valuation?

    It's best that your property is tidy and clean when you are having your property valued. This will ensure that your property is presentable and accessible during the valuation.

    Is it worth getting valuation?

    In some situations, a valuation is crucial to get the correct and up to date value of your property.

    Even if you are not looking to sell, having a current valuation of your property can be useful to understand the current trends of the property market. 

    Can you get your house valued without selling?

    Yes, using a surveyor you can get your house valued without selling. There are other reasons that you may need a house valuation outside of selling.

    Some estate agents may not offer the free valuation outside of their other services so it's important to check what they offer.

    Related articles

    Need a Shared Ownership or Help to Buy valuation?

    Get quotes for valuations from Chartered Building Surveyors

    Get Quotes

    We've already helped over 2,882,911 movers

    12,986 user reviews

    I was able to instantly obtain a list of available surveyors for my property. I was given a choice and could compare prices and reviews.

    Corsco on 23/03/2024

    As featured in