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Carol Bryson MNAEA, Managing Director of JP Harll

Let me first explain the difference between a Valuation carried out by an Estate Agent and a Valuation carried out by a Qualified Surveyor.


When an Estate Agent gives you a ‘Valuation’, unless they are a qualified Surveyor and there is a cost attached to it, then what you are receiving is a free market appraisal. 


Estate Agents give you their professional and experienced opinion on what you are likely to achieve for your property, based on previous completed sales, comparable properties currently on the market and the present housing market, for marketing purposes.


Some agents have qualified to become members of Professional Bodies such as Propertymark.  Formerly known as the National Association of Estate Agents and abide by their Rules and Continual Professional Development requirements and will have the initials MNAEA or FNAEA after their name.  You can check for membership on


Buyers and Sellers tend to call them ‘Valuations’ because they understand that they are being given the ‘Value’ of their property and as Estate Agents often refer to the employee who comes to visit as being their ‘Valuer’.  Other agents give the job title as ‘Lister’ as what they are doing is ‘Listing’ the property on the market or adding them to the list of properties on the market.


A qualified Surveyor on the other hand will be a member of The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and will have the initials MRICS or FRICS after their name.  You can check for membership on  or be a member of The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) and you can verify a Surveyors identity code and membership status on their website.  You can check for membership on


A basic Valuation costs start from around £300 although if you are obtaining a Mortgage, a lot of the Mortgage Lenders now provide these for free or for a nominal charge of around £100.


The Mortgage Lender chooses the firm of Surveyors that they want to instruct, although you will have to pay for it if there is a fee.  The Valuation is for their benefit to ensure that the property they are going to lend the money for provides sufficient security for the loan.


Depending upon the Lenders own Indexation Method, will depend upon how they carry out the Valuation.  This is why sometimes, they will need to see inside the property, do a ‘drive-by’ Valuation or even a ‘Desk Top’ Valuation. For instance, if the Lender has enough historical information on a property and has loaned on it previously and the price falls within its own suggested parameters, then they may feel there is no need to gain entry.


Back to the subject title then.  What is the difference between a Valuation and a Survey? 


A Valuation is a figure based on the way a property is built, its size and location and its overall condition. Using knowledge and experience the property is compared to similar properties that have recently sold nearby. 


A Survey is an inspection of the properties condition.  Depending upon the type of Survey you request, you will receive a report highlighting the defects in a property from minor to major.  They will comment on what repairs are required.  They will indicate whether you should seek further advice and reports from other professionals i.e. Electricians, Gas and Drainage Contractors, Roofers etc.


If you would like to read more about the different types of Survey, please read our other blogs.