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Obtain an Official Desktop Valuation



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Desktop Valuation: A Modern Approach to Property Appraisal

Desktop valuation, as the name suggests, represents a contemporary appraisal method that departs from the traditional need for physical property inspections. Instead, it leverages the wealth of publicly available online information and harnesses existing data stored in the surveyor's records regarding the property and its surrounding area. This innovative approach, often referred to as data appraisal, shines when practical or on-site property inspections are either challenging or inconvenient.

One of the notable features of desktop valuation is its versatility. It can be effectively applied to various property types, spanning from newly constructed buildings to even the assessment of unfinished structures on a property. In cases involving such properties, the valuation process hinges on architectural plans and the data thoughtfully provided by the project developer.

However, it's crucial to maintain a clear perspective when considering the results of a desktop valuation. This method yields an estimated property value, carefully derived through a meticulous analysis of existing data sources. These sources may include property photographs, statistical data, and valuable input from clients. Our dedicated experts employ these invaluable resources to ascertain a property's value, all while working from the comfort of their office desks.

In an ever-evolving world where technology continues to redefine industries, desktop valuation emerges as an efficient and pragmatic solution, offering reliable property assessments without the need for physical property visits. It seamlessly combines the convenience of remote analysis with the precision of data-driven evaluation, making it an indispensable tool in today's real estate landscape.

Advantages of Desktop Valuation for Mortgage Applications

Desktop valuation is a cost-effective alternative widely embraced in the mortgage industry. Unlike traditional methods that involve surveyors physically visiting and assessing properties, desktop valuation eliminates the added expense of on-site visits. This cost-saving feature makes it an attractive choice for mortgage applications.

Time efficiency is another key benefit of desktop valuation. In many cases, property valuation can be completed in just a matter of minutes using this method, making it significantly faster than traditional approaches.

Furthermore, desktop valuation is known for its accuracy, earning the trust of numerous lenders. This method is especially favored when applying for a home equity line of credit, where lenders often require desktop valuation reports.

While desktop valuation provides reliable property data assessments, it's important to note that its reliability may be slightly lower compared to traditional valuation methods. Therefore, it is typically preferred when there is a lower level of risk associated with loans and lending.

In summary, the pros of desktop valuation, including cost-effectiveness, time efficiency, and accuracy, make it an appealing choice for mortgage applications, particularly when the risk level is lower.

Drawbacks of Desktop Valuation for Property Assessment

While desktop valuation offers certain advantages, it's essential to be aware of its limitations. One significant drawback is the reliance on assumptions. Since desktop valuation doesn't involve physically visiting the property, it relies heavily on available documentation. This reliance can lead to disparities between the information on paper and the actual features of the property, which can only be accurately assessed through an on-site visit. Consequently, this valuation method is considered comparatively less reliable than traditional approaches.

If you're in the process of buying a house, you may desire a comprehensive property assessment before making a final decision. Desktop or automated valuations fall short in this regard. They do not account for potential structural issues, electrical or plumbing problems, which are crucial factors in property evaluation. Additionally, unique features that could either increase or decrease a property's value may go unnoticed through automated valuation methods.

When making a significant investment in a property, potential buyers often seek detailed surveys to gain a comprehensive understanding of the property's strengths and weaknesses. While desktop valuation offers convenience, it may not provide the depth of insight that many property buyers require to make informed decisions.

Understanding Desktop Valuation: Process and Validity

A Desktop valuation is conducted by an independent expert who assesses a property's value based on available information sources. This expert may consult clients and land developers for additional insights. After a thorough review of existing data and statistics, the appraiser compiles a report indicating the property's estimated value.

The process begins with the appraiser gathering information from various sources to form an informed opinion about the property's worth. This data-driven approach allows for a reliable estimate without the need for physical inspections.

Regarding the validity of a Desktop valuation, it typically holds for a period of 90 days. However, it's essential to note that a full valuation, which involves more comprehensive assessment methods, may remain valid for a more extended duration, ranging from 3 to 6 months.


In summary, Desktop Valuation is a data-driven appraisal method that relies on existing information sources and expert analysis. While a Desktop valuation is typically valid for 90 days, a full valuation may have an extended validity period, offering flexibility to property buyers and lenders in their decision-making processes.

Desktop Valuation vs. Full Valuation: Choosing the Right Appraisal Method

Desktop Valuation:

  • Desktop valuation is conducted remotely, with the appraiser not needing to physically inspect the property.

  • It is often preferred for properties in average condition.

  • Considered a simpler and more cost-effective valuation method.

  • Provides a quick and time-efficient property assessment, making it suitable for situations requiring speedy valuation.

  • Offers a comprehensive report based on available sources and the expert's opinion.

Full Valuation:

  • Involves a physical visit to the property by the appraiser, including taking pictures and a detailed examination of all property features.

  • Recommended for properties in poor condition or those with extensive upgrades.

  • Provides a more accurate and reliable valuation but typically comes at a higher cost.

  • Can be necessary in cases such as tax appeals or divorce proceedings where disputes over property value exist.

  • Offers a comprehensive and detailed report, as every aspect of the property is closely examined by the appraiser.

In summary, the choice between Desktop Valuation and Full Valuation depends on factors like property condition, the need for accuracy, and the specific requirements of the valuation. While Desktop Valuation offers simplicity and cost-effectiveness, Full Valuation provides a more detailed and accurate assessment but comes at a higher cost and takes more time due to on-site inspections.

Automated Valuation Models (AVM) vs. Desktop Valuations: Understanding the Differences

Desktop Valuation:

  • Desktop valuations involve manual examination of property data, including comparable valuations and geographic factors.

  • The surveyor compares the property being valued to similar properties in the vicinity.

  • The valuation figure is generated based on empirical data and provided to the client.

  • No physical property visit is conducted in desktop valuations.

  • Lenders may assume added risk since there's no on-site inspection, which may result in lower loan-to-value ratios to mitigate potential losses.

  • In the event of discrepancies, such as unforeseen defects, the property may need to be repossessed or sold at a reduced rate.

Automated Valuation Models (AVM):

  • AVM is a fully automated valuation method with minimal to no human intervention.

  • Automated software analyzes a broader range of empirical housing sale data without considering property asking prices.

  • The valuation is generated solely based on data analysis without physical property visits or human input.

  • AVMs are highly automated and rely on algorithms to determine property values.

  • They are generally quicker and may offer a wider range of data sources for analysis.

  • AVMs may have a more standardised approach compared to desktop valuations.

In summary, the primary difference between Automated Valuation Models (AVM) and Desktop Valuations lies in the level of automation and human involvement. Desktop valuations involve manual analysis by surveyors, comparing properties and considering geographic factors, while AVMs are fully automated, relying solely on data analysis and algorithms to generate property valuations. Each method has its advantages and limitations, making the choice between them dependent on specific needs and preferences.

When to Prefer AVM and Desktop Valuation: Making the Right Choice

AVM (Automated Valuation Models) and Desktop Valuation are Preferred When:

  • Standard Residential Properties: These systems are ideal for assessing standard houses with typical construction, especially in areas where numerous similar properties exist. This includes residential homes with two, three, or four bedrooms, often found in housing estates.

  • High Demand Areas: In regions where standard residential properties are consistently in high demand, AVM and Desktop Valuation methods shine. These houses can be easily compared to recent sales, offering more reliable and accurate valuations.

AVM and Desktop Valuation may not be Preferred When:

  • Unique or Non-Standard Properties: These methods may not be suitable for valuing properties with unique or unconventional features, as there may be limited comparable data available.

  • Sparse Property Surroundings: When a property is located in an area with few similar properties nearby, it can be challenging to find recent sales for comparison. In such cases, AVM and Desktop Valuation methods may lack the necessary data to provide accurate valuations.

  • Houses of Multiple Occupations (HMOs): Valuing properties that have been converted into houses with multiple occupations (HMOs) can be problematic with AVM and Desktop Valuation methods, as there may not be adequate comparable sales data to assess their value accurately.

In summary, AVM and Desktop Valuation methods are preferred when assessing standard residential properties in high-demand areas with ample comparable data. However, for unique or non-standard properties, properties in sparsely populated areas, or HMOs, these methods may not be the best choice due to potential limitations in finding relevant sales data for accurate valuations.

Understanding Mortgage Valuation and Its Purpose

A mortgage valuation is not conducted for the benefit of the buyer. Instead, it serves as a specific assessment carried out by a lender to validate a mortgage application. Its primary focus is on safeguarding the lender's interests and evaluating their risk exposure.

During a mortgage valuation, a surveyor assesses the property and provides the lender with their expert opinion on its value. If the surveyor concurs with the property's asking price or its remortgaging value, the lender is more likely to approve the mortgage application. This process typically takes just a few days, provided all necessary documents and information are promptly provided to the bank. On average, the entire mortgage valuation process spans approximately one week.

Additionally, for your convenience, you can find mortgage calculators online. These tools enable you to easily and efficiently calculate the mortgage associated with a property. To access a mortgage calculator, you can visit the following link: Mortgage Calculator.

Handling a Low Valuation After Property Valuation

When a mortgage surveyor values your property at a lower value than the offer you've accepted, it's termed a "down valuation." Down valuations can potentially jeopardise a sale because they impact the amount of money the buyer's mortgage provider is willing to lend.


A down valuation typically results in higher Loan-to-Value ratios (LTV). The higher the LTV, the more reluctant lenders may be to approve the mortgage, as it signifies a greater perceived risk. If the buyer can no longer secure the necessary mortgage due to the down valuation, they may be forced to withdraw from the property purchase.


In such scenarios, buyers faced with a down valuation have two options. They can either seek a new mortgage lender or cover the difference between the down valuation and the accepted offer price. If they are unable to do either, regrettably, they may have no choice but to withdraw from the sale.


Handling a down valuation can be challenging, but exploring alternative financing options or negotiating with the seller may offer potential solutions in these situations.

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