A Help to Buy Surveyor’s 7 Top Tips to Ensure a Stress-Free Valuation
We caught up with Watsons help to buy surveyor (and registered valuation surveyor), Mark Fidgett to find out what you need to know to ensure your Help to Buy (HTB) valuation is stress-free.
1. You must instruct and pay for a qualified and registered help to buy surveyor (specifically a Chartered Valuation Surveyor) to value your property
Homeowners often don’t understand that they will need to pay for a help to buy surveyor (specifically, a Registered Valuer and RICS accredited Chartered Surveyor) to visit and value their property as part of the Help to Buy process.
Mark said: “Sometimes, people don’t understand the process. I get told quite regularly that they didn’t realise they had to pay for a valuation.”
You can view the full HTB valuation criteria and get a quick quote or book your valuation here.
2. The help to buy valuation expires after 3 months
The valuation report is valid for three months. After three months, if you require more time there is a two-week window in which you can request an updated valuation for a fee. This extends your valuation for a further three months. After that, you will need to pay for another Help to Buy valuation.
Mark said: “Booking your valuation early is always going to be beneficial, but if the property is valued right at the beginning of the process there’s a chance the valuation will expire so don’t forget to book in the updated valuation in plenty of time .”
3. Don’t wait for your solicitor to remind you to book your help to buy valuation
If you wait for your solicitor to remind you about the valuation, for example, because you are close to exchanging on a house, you are adding unnecessary stress to your selling journey.
Mark said: “I get a lot of people that tell me they are very close to exchange, and their solicitor’s just told them that they need to get this valuation.”
You can instruct a Help to Buy surveyor to carry out your valuation at any point during your sale, but the sooner you get it sorted, the better.
Similarly, if you also get a home survey you will be aware of any issues that your buyer may raise with you later which may have a negative impact on your sale.
4. Not all surveyors and survey businesses do help to buy valuations
It can be more difficult to find a help to buy surveyor as not all surveyors are registered to do them.
Although the person that visits your property may well be a chartered surveyor and skilled in producing home surveys, they must be a chartered valuation surveyor and registered with the RICS to inspect and value for HTB.
The requirements of the valuation report are different to those of a mortgage valuation and must be accepted by your equity loan administrator for all Help to Buy equity loans.
Watsons is experienced in Help to Buy valuations and preparing valuation reports having completed thousands since the early days of Help to Buy.
Mark said: “Watsons is very experienced in Help to Buy Valuations and has worked closely with equity loan administrators to get them right, first time. This should prevent the time and hassle of dealing with a rejected valuation report.”
5. You will get a valuation report, not a survey report
Whilst we always advise buyers and sellers to get a home survey done, HTB requires that you obtain a specific type of valuation.
Home surveys can include a valuation figure on request, but the HTB valuation is specifically tailored to the Help to Buy scheme requirements and submission criteria required by the administrator.
6. Allow a week to receive the valuation report (but it is often quicker)
Allow at least five working days in which to have the valuation visit and completed valuation report sent to you. It often takes less time but is not guaranteed at busier times of the year.
All properties are different, and some valuations take a little more time than others, and besides, you don’t want to leave things to the last minute, if at all possible.
Mark said: “Like a Home Survey the HTB Valuation should be one of the earliest things you think about because it could have an impact on the property sale. You need time for the surveyor to send you the report and for you to then submit the valuation report to the administrator.”
7. Allow 30 mins for the valuation inspection
Depending on the size of your property it can take around thirty minutes to complete the inspection.
The Valuation Surveyor will walk around and take notes, measurements, and photos.
Mark said: “The majority of properties that we attend for Help to Buy valuations are modern properties, so the inspection is usually very straightforward and hassle-free.”
You can arrange for someone else to allow access to the property if you are unable to attend at the time of the inspection.
When you are looking to sell your home or need an expert opinion on a new property purchase our team of Registered Valuers and RICS Chartered Surveyors can help.
It’s easy to get a quote or book online. Unsure about what survey you need? Our customer service team will help you choose the best service for you.