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What is a residential property valuation?

Getting a RICS Property Valuation provides the potential owner with a true understanding of the market value of a property. It details how much you should be happy paying for a given property based on its condition and any defects.

Equally, it reflects the amount that a property seller would be willing to accept after their home has been on the market for a reasonable period, provided that they are neither over-eager nor reluctant to sell.

You may hear property valuations referred to as ‘Red Book’ valuations. The Red Book is an RICS publication that sets out rules and guidelines for valuations. It stipulates that RICS valuations must be carried out by an RICS surveyor who is a registered as an RICS valuer.

It means that your surveyor is answerable to the RICS and is working to gold standard professional, ethical and technical principles. This definition of market value is specified by the RICS. This means that surveyors across the country use tried and tested methods to produce reliable valuations that are backed up by concrete evidence.

Once complete, residential property valuations are normally valid for 3 months. In most cases, the valuation validity can be extended for a further 3 months. To do this, a surveyor must carry out additional desktop research within 2 weeks of the original expiry date.

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    The surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of many aspects of the property when making a residential valuation. These may include:

    • how the property was built and what it is made from
    • the size of the buildings and grounds
    • the presence of outbuildings, garages and parking
    • the structural condition of the property
    • whether there are any serious defects
    • recent improvements to the property, such as extensions or loft conversions
    • the location of the property – its desirability, proximity to local amenities and the quality of the local amenities
    • information on the sale price of three comparable homes nearby that have recently been sold.