If you’re thinking of selling a residential property in Scotland, whether it’s your home or a rental property, the starting point for most people is to get an indication of what the property is likely to sell for.

Most people will opt to invite a local expert solicitor estate agent to visit their property and provide them with a valuation or pre-sale appraisal. Larger firms will have a team of professional valuers or surveyors who will carry out the required research and visit your property to perform the valuation.

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If you’ve ever wondered what happens during the valuation appointment and how to prepare for a professional valuation, here is your guide! In this blog, Robert Carroll, Managing Director of MOV8, provides an overview of the valuation process and how best to prepare, answering the following key questions:

What is a house valuation appointment?

How do I prepare for a house valuation appointment?

How is a house valuation calculated?

How long does the valuation take?

How do I choose the right agent based on the valuation?

What about the Home Report?

How do I arrange a house valuation?

What is a house valuation appointment?

So, what is a valuation appointment? The valuation involves a valuer visiting your property, getting an accurate impression of the condition, layout and any unique features of your property, and then providing you with a researched estimate of how much your property is likely to sell for in the current market conditions.

Some estate agents will offer you the option of a ‘desktop’ valuation. They will not visit the property and, based on your description, they will email you an estimate of the property's expected market value. However, this estimate will not be as accurate as if a valuer has visited your property in person.

A valuation of your property by a valuer who has physically visited your property is the most accurate option and involves a valuer coming to your home and having a walk round resulting in a much truer figure for the ultimate selling price.

How do I prepare for a house valuation appointment?

If you want to get the most from your valuation appointment, a little bit of preparation will be helpful. A spring clean can make a world of difference and will allow the valuer to see the full extent of the property without any distractions. Don’t forget the exterior either: this is often overlooked and you only get one chance to make a good first impression!

If you have any questions about the selling process, the costs of selling or if you have any questions about buying your next property, make a wee note of these and your valuer should be able to help with this at the valuation appointment or go away and find out for you.
During the walk around it is worthwhile to let the valuer know of any improvements and alterations that you have made to the property since you bought it.

How is a house valuation calculated?

The valuation is usually calculated by reference to similar properties that have sold or that are available for sale in a similar geographic area.

For slightly more unusual or remote properties, different techniques are used. The valuer will take into consideration local property market conditions, the selling history of the area, local amenities and will take a look at what other similar properties might be on the market at that time.

How long does the valuation take?

The valuation appointment will usually take just less than an hour, although it can be considerably faster if required.

How do I choose the right agent based on the valuation?

Sellers will typically get valuations or pre-sale appraisals from more than one local expert estate agent. It can be tempting to go with the highest valuation. However, it is important to beware of agents who are competing for business purely based on providing the highest valuation. Sellers should make sure that the valuation provided is fully backed-up by research and comparable sales data.

What about the Home Report?

It is important to note that, in Scotland, the Home Report will have a significant impact on the selling price of the property. Most buyers will want to use the Home Report for the purposes of their mortgage valuation and their borrowing will be based on the Home Report valuation and not the asking price or eventual purchase price.

Because the Home Report costs money, it is typically produced after the estate agent’s valuation and after sellers have selected their estate agent. It is therefore worth discussing the Home Report process with the valuer and getting an estimate of what the valuer believes the Home Report valuation will be.

After the valuation appointments, most sellers will then instruct one of the companies that provided a valuation to market their property for sale and to act as their solicitor estate agent throughout the sale. How to go about that is a topic for another article!

How do I arrange a house valuation?

Hopefully you now feel clued-up on the house valuation process – now it’s time to arrange one! ESPC agents offer a free valuations service – simply fill out our home valuation form, and we’ll put you in touch with one of ESPC’s agents to arrange a free valuation with no obligation.