Could a survey help your client to secure a better rate?

Lenders are increasingly deferring to Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), and often don’t even offer buyers the opportunity to upgrade to a physical inspection of the property. This might seem advantageous for you and your clients, if you see physical valuations as a hold-up in the process, but that isn’t necessarily the case and an AVM could even prevent your client from accessing a lower rate.

AVMs are not the only phenomenon on the rise. Home improvements, renovations and extensions are also increasing at pace. The slow housing market and cost of moving, particularly for those who incur an additional 3% of Stamp Duty Land Tax, encourage owners to improve their existing property rather than trade up, and permitted development rights are making it easier than ever before for people to extend without getting caught up in red tape.

Permitted development rights were first introduced as a temporary measure to stimulate the economy in 2013 and are now permanent legislation. The rights are an automatic grant of planning permission to allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. These works include single storey rear extensions and there are even proposals to extend the scope of permitted development rights to include upwards extensions.

So, more property owners are making changes that are adding value, but AVMs, which are based on previous sale prices and the performance of properties in the local area, may not account for this increased value. A higher valued property may result in a lower LTV, which could result in a lower rate and so a physical inspection of a property by a surveyor, could benefit your client if it recognises an increased value. 

A survey may mean your client incurring a small extra cost during the application process, particularly if they have the option of a fees-free package from a lender that includes a free AVM. But, in the right circumstances, it could ultimately save them money in the long run if it enables them to access cheaper borrowing.

So, don’t always automatically accept an AVM. There may be situations when a physical inspection provides a more accurate value of the property and a better outcome for your clients.

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Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)


I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.


Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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