Skip to the content

What does a surveyor do?

A surveyor performs a number of professional activities relating to the built environment, i.e., to land, and to property.

All RICS qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and have one of the following qualifications: AssocRICS, MRICS or FRICS. Valunation’s RICS-qualified surveyors specialise in the residential market and are also RICS-registered valuers.

We’re able to offer advice to home buyers, homeowners and other personal customers, as well as to mortgage lenders and other property professionals.

Why do I need anything other than the valuation arranged by my mortgage lender?

Valunation gives you the chance to opt for a professional survey that’s completely independent of your mortgage provider.

Our survey gives you information about the condition of the property in question and a clear summary of the main risks associated with its purchase – all before you commit to buying.

The limitation of a mortgage lender’s valuation is that it only confirms that the property is worth the amount of the loan. The valuation isn’t based upon a full survey and the report may not include details about potential or existing structural problems – issues that could cost a fortune to correct. For more information, see the answer to “What is a mortgage valuation?”.

Most solicitors recommend that you obtain a separate independent report on the property such as a survey. This advice is also included in most mortgage valuation reports.

Call us on 01206 363658 or look at our at-a-glance guide to What survey is the best for me.

Haven’t I already paid my mortgage lender for a survey?

Your mortgage lender may have charged you a fee to cover the cost of the lender’s valuation, but this valuation is not designed for your benefit. Rather, it is meant to help the lender decide if the property is suitable security for the loan.

For more information, see the answers to “Why do I need anything other than the valuation arranged by my mortgage lender?” and “What is a mortgage valuation?”.

If my lender offers me a mortgage based on a lender’s valuation, does that mean the property is ok?

It only means that the property is acceptable to the lender as security for the loan. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the property is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay for it.

In addition, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the property is free of defects that might require work now or in the future.

For more information, see the answers to “Why do I need anything other than the valuation arranged by my mortgage lender?” and “What is a mortgage valuation?”.

What type of survey do I need?

There are several different types of survey and we can help you decide which one’s right for you.

Call us on 01206 363658 or look at our at-a-glance guide to What survey is the best for me?.

What is market value?

It’s the formal definition of value, (specified by RICS) and recognised by the UK Finance and Building Societies Association.

It’s the value provided to lenders, by a qualified valuer, in a mortgage valuation. Only those RICS members who are part of the Valuer Registration Scheme (VRS) can provide mortgage valuations.

All of Valunation’s professional surveyors are VRS-registered.

What is comparable evidence?

Surveyors use their experience and knowledge to arrive at a valuation, analysing transactions in the market to help support the valuation assessment they make.

This transactional data is known as comparable evidence, and its sources and availability vary across the UK. Where the evidence is available, a surveyor will obtain it from the transactions recorded within statutory records and other commercial databases.

The surveyor complements this evidence with his or her own knowledge of recent activity in the local market.

What is RICS?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the body that sets and regulates professional surveying standards, on behalf of consumers and members.

RICS provides the world’s leading professional qualification in land, property, construction and associated environmental issues.

Do I need to go through my broker, solicitor or conveyancer to instruct a survey?

No, you can instruct a survey yourself.

If you’d like us to help you choose the right survey, call now on 01206 363658 or look at What survey is the best for me? 

What is a mortgage valuation?

Carried out for lending institutions, this kind of valuation is used solely to establish the suitability of a property for mortgage purposes.

A mortgage valuation requires only a brief inspection, and it will not include comments on the condition of a property unless the issues in question might affect the lender’s security (or unless the lender specifically requests it).

What is an insurance reinstatement valuation?

An insurance reinstatement valuation provides an estimate of the cost of rebuilding a property after it has suffered damage (e.g. fire, subsidence, where underpinning is required).

This valuation also includes an estimate for demolition costs and other professional fees, such as architects or surveyors.

Get a quote or contact our experts on 01206 363658 or by email:

What is a probate valuation?

A probate valuation of a residential property is undertaken as part of the assessment of the deceased’s assets. It is required to assess the value of the estate to assist with the calculation of any inheritance tax due on the deceased’s estate.

A RICS valuation will ensure that the probate valuation is accurate when submitting details of the deceased affairs to the tax authorities for probate purposes.

What is taxation valuation?

Valuations are sometimes required for tax purposes. For example, for Capital Gains Tax purposes to assess the valuation of an asset at a certain date.

A RICS valuation will ensure that the tax valuation is accurate when submitting details to the tax authorities.

What is revaluation?

Lenders use revaluations to get an update on the value of a property.

What is a remortgage?

This is used when you’re changing lenders or mortgage products but staying in the same property.

What is a further advance?

A further advance arises when you ask your lender to increase the amount of your mortgage.

Your lender may ask for a mortgage valuation at this time.

What is an AVM?

An Automated Valuation Model (AVM) is a computer generated valuation using digital data sources and which may or may not include an element of human intervention.

An AVM may be used by a mortgage lender instead of a physical valuation depending on pre-set circumstances.

What is re-inspection?

If you’re renovating a property, or your lender held back part of the mortgage money while essential works were done, the lender may ask for a re-inspection when the work has been completed.

A surveyor will undertake a repossession valuation on behalf of a lender who has taken a property into possession because the borrower didn’t keep up with the mortgage payments.

What is a drive past/drive-by?

Some lenders will advance money based purely upon a surveyor’s confirmation of value and that a property is where it should be, acquired by simply driving past the address in question. Lenders may also instruct a surveyor to perform a drive past before taking proceedings to repossess a property.

Drive-bys are also used when lenders need to assess their portfolios of loans (the back-book) – something that has to be done regularly to ensure compliance with financial regulations.

Drive past and drive-by assessments are also known as external appraisals.


Please enter your details and we will call you back shortly.

* Mandatory field