Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation

When it comes to property valuations, understanding the difference between a desktop valuation and a full RICS valuation is essential for making informed decisions. Both types of valuations serve different purposes and have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation, Harding Chartered Surveyors

What is an RICS Desktop Valuation?

A desktop valuation is a property valuation conducted without a physical inspection. Instead, the valuer relies on available data such as online resources, previous sales records, and market trends to estimate the property's value. This type of valuation is commonly used for mortgage purposes, refinancing, and quick sale assessments.

  • Speed: Desktop valuations are usually quicker to complete since they do not require a physical visit to the property.
  • Cost-Effective: They are generally less expensive than full valuations due to the reduced work and travel required.
  • Convenience: Ideal for situations where a rapid valuation is needed and detailed accuracy is less critical.
  • Accuracy: The lack of a physical inspection can lead to less accurate valuations, as the valuer cannot see the property's condition, unique features, or potential issues.
  • Limited Detail: Desktop valuations provide a general overview and may miss specific factors affecting the property's value.
  • Risk of Errors: Reliance on outdated or incomplete data can result in inaccurate valuations.

RICS Full Valuation Quote

Cost of an RICS Desktop Valuation

The cost of a desktop valuation typically ranges from £250 upwards, depending on the property's complexity and the valuation firm's pricing structure. At Harding Chartered Surveyors, we do not conduct Desktop Valuations unless we previously inspected the property recently. A Desktop Valuation is valid for 90 days.

Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation, Harding Chartered Surveyors

What is an RICS Full Valuation Report?

A full RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) valuation (Red Book Valuation) involves a comprehensive property assessment by a qualified RICS Valuation Surveyor. This includes an inspection of the property, a detailed analysis of the property's condition and location, and any factors influencing its value. This type of valuation is often required for legal purposes, high-value transactions, and when a detailed and accurate valuation is necessary.

  • Accuracy: Full valuations provide a more precise and reliable assessment of the property's value due to the thorough inspection and detailed analysis.
  • Comprehensive Detail: These valuations include an in-depth report covering all aspects of the property, including structural issues, market conditions, and comparable sales.
  • Credibility: Full valuations are widely accepted and trusted by lenders, legal entities, and buyers, providing confidence in the transaction.
  • Cost: Full valuations are more expensive due to the extensive work and expertise involved.
  • Time-Consuming: The process takes longer as it requires scheduling an inspection, conducting a thorough review, and compiling the report.
  • Inconvenience: A physical inspection can be less convenient, especially if the property is occupied or difficult to access.

Cost of a Full RICS Valuation

The cost of a full RICS valuation generally ranges from £450 upwards, depending on the property's size, location, and complexity. Higher fees may be charged for high-value or unique properties.

In summary, the choice between a desktop valuation and a full RICS valuation depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the property transaction. While desktop valuations offer speed and cost savings, full valuations provide accuracy and detailed insights, making them suitable for high-stakes transactions.

Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Types of RICS Valuations

Market Valuation: This process involves determining a property's market value by evaluating its size, condition, location, and various other characteristics.

Equity Valuation: This valuation is used to ascertain the current market value of a property, particularly useful for repaying a help-to-buy loan or increasing ownership shares.

Help to Buy Valuation: This is an independent assessment of the value of a council or housing association home that tenants intend to purchase.

Probate and Inheritance Valuation: Necessary for distributing a deceased person’s estate among beneficiaries and for calculating inheritance and capital gains taxes.

Capital Gains Tax Valuation: This evaluates the increase in property value for the purpose of capital gains tax when the property is sold.

ATED Valuation: Used by companies owning UK residential properties valued over £500,000 to determine their annual tax liability under the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) regime.

Non-Domicile Valuation: Provides the market value of a UK property for non-UK residents, aiding in tax compliance and decision-making for property sales.

Divorce Settlement Valuation: An objective assessment used to fairly distribute assets during a divorce.

Insurance Reinstatement Valuation: Determines the cost to rebuild a property in case of substantial damage, forming the basis for adequate insurance coverage.

Commercial Valuation: Evaluates the worth of commercial properties, such as shops and offices, for purposes including loans, taxation, insurance, or compliance with the Charity Act.

How Harding Chartered Surveyors can Help

At Harding Chartered Surveyors, we pride ourselves on offering the highest standard of property valuations through our RICS Red Book Valuations. These full property valuations are comprehensive and accurate, ensuring that every aspect of your property is thoroughly assessed. Unlike other types of valuations, we do not offer desktop valuations unless we have inspected the property recently. This approach guarantees that our valuation figures are reliable and based on current and precise data about the condition of the property.

Recent Reviews from Harding Chartered Surveyors

Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation, Harding Chartered Surveyors
Based on 123 reviews
We used Hardings to compile an independent expert witness report for some poor workmanship we had completed at our home. Their report helped us win our case and reclaim our costs.The report was concise, succinct and detailed - providing everything we needed to win our claim.
I have used Harding Chartered Surveyors service for a new build snagging survey. The report was thorough and detailed beyond expectations. The communication with the surveyor was excellent and the end-to-end process was very easy and efficient. I would definitely use them again and recommend to a friend.
The team at Harding Chartered Surveyors were fantastic to work with. Kate helped us identify the work we needed and arranged a surveyor to visit our property. Throughout, she was clear about timescales, costs, and next steps. Our surveyor, Scott Ingham, was thorough and helpful, speaking with us by phone immediately following the survey about the largest areas of concern (which, thankfully, were not major!). The report that was produced was easy to read and helped us understand what areas of the property might need work with approximate timelines and costs. All of the work happened on time, and there were no surprises in the process. Everyone was friendly, professional, and helpful. I highly recommend!!
I highly recommend Hardings. All communication and interactions with them was high professional. Alaa dealt with my survey. He approached it with a high level and depth of knowledge, he was honest and considerate giving balanced advice. Throughout he was a pleasure to deal with.I also dealt with Kate making the arrangements. She was also prompt, professional and polite . Harding’s came highly recommended to me. My experience would endorse that they are a family run business with integrity and professionalism at their core.
Carried out a structural defect report and was very satisfied by the service provided. Millbrook Housing Association
We are very pleased with the service you have provided and would certainly recommend you in future .
Very positive experience. We hired Harding Surveyors to carry out a building survey on a commercial property to be leased from the council. They did a great job and we went back to them again to carry out a schedule of condition report, prior to us moving in. Very helpful, friendly, good communication, and reasonable price. Would recommend.
Dependable and timely - would recommend
Harding Chartered Surveyors have provided very efficient and professional services with their valuation for Probate purposes. Very good communications at the outset when inquiring about their services with prompt response, as well as addressing questions after their report was sent to me.I also found their fees reasonable compared to other quotes. Highly recommended
The report is excellent and was provided promptly. All aspects of the service were handled efficiently and professionally. Many thanks to Charles and the team.
Seamless experience. Very swift and well organised with a thorough survey completed and report returned within less than a week of booking!
Cannot recommend enough. Communication has been excellent throughout the entire process, very accommodating and fast turnaround. Everyone I have spoken to has been so helpful and kind, to make a difficult process much easier.
Excellent and professional services by Mr. Ali. I am indeed very pleased. I will recommend to my friends and others who wants to avail the services of Harding Chartered Surveyors.
Great fast and easy to book. Great price and most of all great staff.
Great experience dealing with Alaa, very helpful and informative, going above and beyond at any opportunity. Thanks!
Desktop Valuation vs Full Valuation, Harding Chartered Surveyors


In conclusion, the choice between a desktop valuation and a full RICS valuation hinges on the specific requirements of the transaction and the type of property in question. Desktop valuations are beneficial for their speed and cost-effectiveness, making them suitable for situations where a rapid assessment is needed. However, they lack the accuracy and detailed insight from physically visiting the property. This type of valuation may not be sufficient for high-stakes transactions or unique properties.

On the other hand, a full RICS valuation provides a comprehensive and precise evaluation of the property value. This process involves a surveyor physically visiting the property to inspect it thoroughly. This detailed inspection ensures a more accurate assessment of the property's value, accounting for its condition and any unique features. Such valuations are particularly important for lenders, as they rely on these reports to make informed lending decisions.

Moreover, the type of property can significantly influence which valuation method is more appropriate. For example, a lender may require a full valuation for high-value or unique property types, where a desktop valuation may suffice for more standard, lower-value properties. Additionally, full valuations consider comparable properties in the area, providing a more reliable estimate of the property's market value.

Ultimately, while desktop valuations offer convenience and speed, full RICS valuations are crucial for ensuring an accurate and trustworthy property valuation, especially when the value of the property is significant or when the lender requires a detailed inspection.