Residential valuation

This section discusses the process that should be adopted when approaching a residential valuation. It recognises some of the new technology that is available and is based on guidance available either in the RICS Valuation - Professional Standards or arising from case law. It is anticipated that the reader will have an understanding of property pathology, law and related issues.

In the modern technological world of deadlines and highly competitive forces it is possible to lose sight of what is actually required of the valuation. Not only can ‘corners be cut’ but valuable information is being omitted that a client needs to know in order to assess the true risk of that property. The fact that a significant proportion of properties appear to have limited risk can draw the inexperienced underwriter into thinking that all properties fall into that category. Therefore, the surveyor needs to ensure that clear advice is given when the unexpected happens.

Any valuation starts with an instruction. This should name the client, the purpose of the valuation, the address of the property being inspected and the fee at the very least. This can then give a surveyor the basis upon which they can begin their preliminary research to establish whether they are capable of doing the job and are not conflicted in any way.

The assessment of whether the surveyor is capable of doing the work starts with a desktop evaluation that identifies the property type and its location. Validation of locational features confirms the type of area and rank relative to other areas. Data collected on site then helps to establish the factors that materially affect value. Comparison with other recently sold property and analysis of key features allows the surveyor to establish a relative position in the open market and apportion value. The Report pulls together the factors that have influenced value and should state any assumptions and identify areas of risk. Assumptions are necessary because in a valuation the scope of the inspection and level of further investigation into such matters as legal issues are not as great as other types of survey, therefore to meet time and cost constraints, usually imposed by the client, the surveyor has to make reasonable assumptions as to what s/he thinks may be actual fact.

This section is maintained by Chris Rispin BSc FRICS of BlueBox Partners.