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Can surveyors actually value anything these days

(11 Posts)
MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Mon 07-Oct-13 08:33:45

I have had several surveys over the past year and only 1 surveyor has actually put pen to paper to give a valuation. Even that was a no brainier as because of exceptional circumstances it was 25k below market value.

I would like to know from anyone who has tried to buy / bought a property and the surveyor who you have paid for has valued the property at £0 or whose valuation is so completely off the mark it is a joke.

I just want to find out if it is just me or do surveyors just take your money and not deliver a service, especially when the property in question is not like other properties in the street or when the property is not in perfect condition

raskolnikov Mon 07-Oct-13 12:00:27

With an unusual property or in 'exceptional circumstances' the valuer has to ascertain a value which would reasonably be achieved if the property was put on the market right now in its present condition. He/she will look at other local properties and anything similar which has been sold over the past year or so to guage what a buyer might pay. That's why you'll get a value which you think is less than market value - if sales in your area are very slow it could be on the market for months or longer before you get any interest. On the other hand, you could sell it straightaway if you're lucky. So the valuer is suggesting that you might have to reduce to that price to get a sale.

It is difficult to value when there are few transactions to compare with - that's all the valuer has to go on, so they will understandably be cautious. In addition 'not in perfect condition' can cover all sorts of things - are they cosmetic issues which are easily rectified, or structural work which involves significant outlay for a buyer?

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Mon 07-Oct-13 13:17:35

I regularly get value £0 when I am looking at a property to buy and am ick to death of paying out large sums of cash for absolutely no return.
The latest is a small 1 bed flat in central London with a rental income of in excess of £1000 per month, we have just gone for a remortgage and the surveyor, who judging by the report which we paid £400 for and we have just got did not go round the property, he missed out a room, miscalculated the number of floors in the house and took the number of flats in the property off an old plan, and valued the property at £0.
If all he has to go on is other 1 bed flats with private rear gardens in the same road then I can assure you they fly off the shelf at a lot more than £0
So how many people would like a central London 1 bed flat that is close to all amenities with a private 30 ft long garden for free. According to this surveyor, no one.
Raskolnikov you have either have never bought a property that needs work or what you buy is exactly like everything else in the road or you are a surveyor.
I know I am not the only one who this has happened to, I was casting the net a little further than friends and family to see if this is a trend nationwide.

specialsubject Mon 07-Oct-13 17:53:06

complain to RICS (for what it is worth) as a surveyor that can't find all the rooms in a property is either drunk, incompetent or both.

I bought a property last year and had a valuation from a surveyor. Full structural survey booked this week on a buy to let, and the surveyor won't do a valuation - Although bizarrely he will do it for an extra charge... Gone for the full one as he promises I won't get the 'get extra reports on this' nonsense.

in this case I don't care as I know what the place is worth, don't need a mortgage valuation and otherwise the survey should be good value for money. (judgement reserved...) But I am getting less faith in the whole process. If it wasn't for the fact that I feel that a survey provides some insurance comeback in case of subsidence or similar big ticket items, I wouldn't bother on a 'standard' property.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 07-Oct-13 18:02:44

I think it might be a issue with crossed wires. When we had a full structural survey carried out, our surveyor was very open about the fact that a survey does not include a valuation; a separate valuation service was available from the same company, but the surveyor who commented on the condition of the house was not in a position to value it.

When you commission a surveyor, you need to be very explicit what services you're asking for. A structural/condition survey is just that, and a valuation is different (though the same man might be able to do both, depending on the surveyor).

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Tue 08-Oct-13 08:57:23

I didn't commission the surveyor, the mortgage company did to get a valuation because we wanted to remortgage. There was no crossed wires.

The report states that there is no call for 1 bed flats in central London.

REALLY? There again the surveyor comes from North Yorkshire (googled the surveyor's name) which is a very different market to Central London.

I probably have had more than the average surveys and the things surveyors have told me when we have chatted makes me wonder what they are being taught to become surveyors.

One surveyor told me that having a train station with a commute of 12 mins in to Kings cross in the village was a negative.

Another wondered why I was going for a 2 bed flat. Not a usual BTL property. Surely a 5 bed detached family house with a nice family in would give a better rental return. It is when you have to point out to them the cost of such a place if one existed would be at least 8 figures and I didn't have 35million hanging around.

Another told me that to build a house cost £20000 per square foot. When I pointed out that the new builds in the area were around the £100000 and were more than 5 square foot. His reply was that the large house builders were in actual fact charities who were making losses in order to supply houses to the people who needed them.

Used to know one guy who pointed out a group of 5 bed detached houses, value at the time was about £150000, it was in the mid 80's,
He told me with complete sincerity that all the people who had bought those houses were all about to go bankrupt.
Because they had paid £25000 for them which was far too much. All they would ever be worth, ever, was £18000.

Is it just that I attract the nuts element of surveyors or does anyone else have similar stories.

What annoys me most is the waiting around. Waiting and fighting against a group of people who seem to have no idea what is going on.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Tue 08-Oct-13 09:08:45

I've heard of this happening, where the surveyor couldn't even be bothered to turn up to see the actual property and therefore totally under valued it. On the other hand, we've just had a valuation done of the house we are in the process of buying and it was right on the money.

I don't think the surveyor coming from North Yorkshire explains his incompetence (as in, he wouldn't know the market); anyone with any interest in property would know flats are at a premium in London. And we do have TV in North Yorkshire, so we know not everywhere is like Emmerdale! wink ha ha!

I would complain to RICS.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Tue 08-Oct-13 09:11:37

I would also be alerting the mortgage lender to the fact that they are using someone with poor knowledge of the current market.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Tue 08-Oct-13 11:41:43

Complaint already gone in.
Ethelred I have had a surveyor tell me that it didn't matter where a property was it was worth the same. I.e a flat in Stafford was worth exactly the same as a flat of the same size in Knightsbridge. The Knightsbridge property would soon fall in price as people started to realise this.
I do not actually think he came anywhere near the place. He had an old floor plan and an old plan of the internal arrangement of the house. We have totally remodelled since hence the missing out of a room and the fact that it is in one of those old Victorian houses that you walk up steps to so usually they have 4 floors however because of the position of the house on the hill it does only have 3 floors. On the old plans there are 7 flats in the house but two flats have been converted into one hence the miscalculation of the number of flats in the house.

What gets me is the number of months it takes. Our lives are on hold and have been since May. We cannot move on with anything and feel our lives are at the mercy of people who do not seem to be capable to do the job that they are paid to do.

Remember these are qualified people who are charging a fortune and seem incapable of doing their job.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Tue 08-Oct-13 16:32:33

I would definitely complain. Our valuations have always been accurate, turned round promptly and carried out based on a site visit. Sounds like you've had some duffers. Hope you can find someone reliable. Good luck.

Anniegoestotown Sun 19-Jan-14 04:33:34

The 3rd survey has just been done on a flat we are selling. Another London property.

The first buyers survey said it was too small and so unmortgageable.

The 2nd buyers survey didn't mention anything about the size but said it had a damp problem.

The 3rd buyers survey didn't mention anything about size and said there was no damp to be found in the flat but the flat did not have planning permission to be built..

The flat as it stands is on the ground floor with it's own garden and the surveyor acknowledges it has planning permission to extend into the garden. But no planning permission for the actual flat which the extension is to go on.

Tell me I am not going mad.

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