CSS: 80% say consumers confuse valuations with surveys

Jessica Bird

December 16, 2021

physical valuations

A webinar poll conducted by Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS) has found that four in five (80%) property professionals believe consumers confuse a mortgage valuation with a survey.

When asked ‘is the mortgage valuation still thought of as a survey?’, only 20% disagreed.

The webinar focused on a panel discussion around the role of mortgage valuations.

More than 250 people actively engaged in the session, with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors and other property professionals.

The panel included Thom Wilkinson, member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing and Land Law Committee, and partner at Bishop and Sewell, as well as Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at Propertymark.

These guests joined Ana Bajri, head of sustainability at CSS, and John Baguley, director of risk, technical and compliance at CSS, who hosted the session.

Further polls were taken during the webinar around the valuation process.

The audience highlighted the need for greater consumer awareness around valuations, with 86% pointing out homebuyers’ failure to understand that a valuation could be completed by a computer, while 14% suggested that consumers were aware this could in fact be the case.

CSS also asked the audience if they thought that – to avoid consumer confusion – the mortgage valuation should never be disclosed.

This question split the audience, with 54% saying they thought it should never be disclosed, and 46% saying that it should always be disclosed.

When asked ‘should an information pack, including the legal documents and survey, be provided when a property is marketed?’ 75% said it should.

Matthew Cumber, managing director at CSS, said: “Despite mortgage valuations being a staple component within residential lending, they can often be misunderstood and much maligned.

“Educating consumers and streamlining the information required to buy and sell a home is why the Home Buying & Selling Group was set up and whilst this continues to do some great work, there is still some way to go.

“Meaning it’s up to us, as an industry, to continue raising consumer awareness around valuations and help homebuyers understand exactly what they need and what they are getting when they enter into the homebuying process.

“As a business, we have to constantly evaluate how we best service the needs of lenders, intermediaries and buyers in the modern age.

“This is certainly an area we will continue to focus on in 2022 to ensure that all parties in the mortgage chain have access to the right information to enable them to make the most informed decisions possible.”

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