I don’t usually worry about much, although I will concede that the vote to leave the European Union has caused me a few sleepless nights (and is a blog for another time!). I am slightly concerned, however, about the steadily rising number of instructions we are receiving of late to conduct ‘drive-by’ valuations, and whether they are being used in the most appropriate manner.
Now let me say from the outset, that there are occasions when a drive-by can be used with some legitimacy. Let us take, for example, a property that has been previously valued in detail perhaps six months earlier, and you simply want to know that the house is still standing! There is some logic to that. But even this makes me nervous. A great deal could have happened in those six months, and you don’t know what secrets lurk behind the closed doors and pulled curtains.
Let us assume another example, where a full valuation has been undertaken by another surveyor and a ‘drive by’ is being used as a ‘cheap’ second opinion. Again, I can see the logic as a box-ticking exercise but it is still far from satisfactory.
Asking a surveyor to provide an accurate valuation or even confirmation of a property value without being able to gain entry to a property, or consult a previous report, can never be wholly satisfactory. A ‘drive by’ is the equivalent of a doctor being obliged to provide a diagnosis over the phone without a proper examination of the patient. There’s a good chance he’ll get it right, but without full sight and access, there’s a chance he could also be some way off the mark.