The cost of a standard probate property valuation service in London is between 1% and 5% of an estate’s total value after valuation. Usually, the percentage is agreed upon before the probate valuation and will vary depending on whether you’re engaging a Solicitor, a Surveyor, or a Real Estate Agent.
Below is a cost guide for the options and the factors influencing each.
Probate Valuation Costs Breakdown
1. Real Estate Agents’ Valuation
Most Agents do not charge for probate valuations. Instead, they prefer to offer free valuation as part of their services. However, the ones that charge take low valuation fees, often lower than 1% of the property’s value. The reason is that this type of valuation is informal and does not have much weight attached to it. So, it is often preferred for small or residential properties. Properties valued below the £325,000 tax threshold do not attract inheritance tax.
2. Solicitors Valuation
Probate solicitors typically charge between 2% to 5% of the deceased’s estate value, plus VAT. So, if the valuation property is worth £600,000, you can expect to pay between £12000 to £30,000 plus VAT. Generally, the more experienced the probate solicitor is, the higher the percentage.
3. Surveyor’s Valuation
Using a qualified Surveyor is often recommended over Estate Agents because the latter may inflate the price and give you the property’s asking price instead of its open market value. A Property Surveyor presents a more accurate valuation, and your safest bet is one registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ( RICS ). Depending on several factors, they typically charge between £150 to £800.
The Inheritance Tax Act of 1984 makes paying tax on probate properties compulsory. For the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to determine the exact inheritance tax amount, the probate valuation must be accurate.
That is why you need specialists evaluating your property, because if your probate valuation is inaccurate, you may run into problems. For example, you may pay a higher tax bill if the property is overvalued. Yet, if it is undervalued, you may come under suspicion of fraud.
4. Clearance Solutions Valuation
Clearance Solutions has a team of specialists with experience in HMRC-compliant probate valuation services. These specialist packages provide precise figures, and you will get a report within 72 hours of a valuer’s visit. Standard packages start at £325 with VAT, but specialist packages are available upon request.
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What Influences Probate Valuation Costs?
1. Valuation Method
There are two main probate valuation methods‒ informal and formal valuations. Informal probate valuations are those done by estate agents, for free or at a relatively low price. These prices are low because this type of valuation typically applies to regular residential properties or properties that do not attract the inheritance tax.
On the flip side, formal probate valuations apply to properties with inheritance tax. They typically cost more because the valuation report here is more detailed and covers commercial properties like a farm, business place, or land with development potential.
2. Type of Property
As we said earlier, the peculiarity of every probate valuation determines the applicable valuation charges. Valuation charges are often higher on commercial properties or those above the tax threshold. This is because of the precautions required to meet HMRC valuation standards and the consequences of presenting inaccurate probate valuation reports.
Estate Agents are the cheapest options because they provide informal probate valuation services that do not take much time or effort to put together. On the flip side, Professional Surveyors and other experts take weeks to conduct a formal valuation and produce better results properly. As such, they tend to charge more for their expertise and effort. While some charge hourly rates, others may charge a fixed fee or offer specialist packages tailored to your needs – just like we do at Clearance Solutions.
4. Third-party Costs
Many times, probate valuation does not start and stop with estimating a property’s worth at face value. While Estate Agents may walk through a property and come up with an often inflated figure, professionals have to do much more. These experts often have to calculate revenues, taxes, debts, and other fees attached to the probate property. They would also have to investigate if the deceased was the sole owner or owned the property jointly with someone else.
In that case, only the deceased’s portion will be valued. Then, the specialist would compare the property’s open market value with reasonable local sales prices on the transfer date, the day the deceased passed. Most probate valuation experts factor these various responsibilities in determining their charges, which explains why they are often more expensive.
As a brief recap, probate property valuation costs between 1% and 5% of an estate’s total value. Usually, the percentage is agreed upon before the valuation and will vary depending on whether you engage a Solicitor, a Surveyor, or a Real Estate Agent. At Clearance Solutions, we’ll be glad to bring our 15 years + of probate valuation experience to be of service to you. Get in touch now for accurate, efficient, and HMRC-compliant probate valuations.
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