Property valuation vs pre-acquisition survey

There are a number of tools available for homeowners and home buyers who are looking to get value-for-money on their property, but which is right for you?

Property valuation

Homeowners looking to sell their property can appoint a residential building surveyor to carry out a property valuation on their behalf.

This helps owners understand the true market value of their property and allows them to set realistic cost expectations when it comes to selling their home.

Key characteristics

Not to be confused with the mortgage lenders valuation, which is a lot shorter and a lot less detailed, a property valuation is carried out by a residential building surveyor.

Property owners looking to sell their home will appoint the surveyor to ensure their property is correctly valued and will be provided with a thorough report to understand the value of their property.

The primary focus of a property valuation is to assess its market value. This is achieved through various methods, such as comparing the sales of recent homes in the area and the current condition of your home.

Compared to pre-acquisition surveys, property valuations typically focus on the building's overall condition, but in a more superficial manner, emphasising its market value.

Pre-acquisition survey

On the other hand, a pre-acquisition survey is a comprehensive inspection carried out by a qualified surveyor on behalf of the potential buyer.

Unlike the valuation inspection, the pre-acquisition survey delves deep into the structural and overall condition of the property, providing the buyer with a thorough understanding of what they are purchasing.

Key Characteristics

The primary goal of a pre-acquisition survey is to identify any defects, structural issues, or potential problems with the property. It provides the buyer with a detailed report on the property's condition.

Pre-acquisition surveys are conducted for the buyer's benefit. It helps the buyer make an informed decision by providing a detailed overview of the property's physical state.

Unlike a property valuation, a pre-acquisition survey is extensive. It covers structural elements, electrical and plumbing systems, the roof, insulation, and more. It may also include recommendations for repairs or further investigations.

So, which one do I need?

While both a property valuation and a pre-acquisition survey are integral parts of the buying and selling process, they serve different purposes and cater to different parties.

The valuation is essential if you’re selling, ensuring that you’re not over charging or underselling your home, while the pre-acquisition survey is crucial if you’re buying, providing a detailed assessment of the property's condition. Both evaluations contribute to a more informed and secure process for all parties involved.

Who are we?

Sillence Hurn’s Chartered Building Surveyors are RICS qualified with extensive experience of building surveying across London and the South of England.

From advice around feasibility, cost planning, undertaking the work in the current market, specifying works, overseeing and managing the implementation of changes, our chartered building surveyors will be able to identify any upgrades and advise you on the best measures going forward.

Read more about our solutions here:

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Email us at or call our Southampton team on 02380 014786 / London at 020 3143 2128

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