There’s more to a ‘desktop’ valuation than you might think
Some people can be a little sceptical about desktop valuations. After all, how can you accurately assess a property without even being there?
“Desktops are still seen as quite new and innovative,” said Director Will Molland BSc MCIOB AssocRICS who is also one of RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com’s Quality Control Assessors. “Brokers and their clients certainly like how they’re low-cost and easy to deliver, but there are some who continue to have doubts about their accuracy.
“I think some of this stems from misconceptions around what a desktop assessment really is,” said Will. “There’s a perception that desktops offer no more than a remote measurement of a property and a quick application of rebuild rates, with little in the way of real expert evaluation. The fact is, there is a lot more to a desktop Rebuild Cost Assessment than some might think.”
Will went on to explain how RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com, which is ‘Regulated by RICS’, uses the data and information it gathers on properties to identify all kinds of features that can have a significant impact on reinstatement value.
“Difficult access, restricted sites, low bridges, weight limits can all add to rebuild costs,” he said. “Not just in delaying a project, in that it may take longer to complete, but getting in cranes to lift materials over neighbouring properties. Cranes for example, require permissions called ‘oversail licences’, which have to be individually negotiated and neighbouring property owners are under no obligation to grant them.”
Will added: “Bespoke joinery, either internal or external, can be very costly to replace or repair as can stained glass, large format glazing, hardwood frames, wide opening sliding or bifold doors, and triple glazing. With many of these features requiring bespoke manufacture, costs can be much higher than off the shelf fixtures. And what about those rather smart railings, which are currently costing £200 per metre with complex or listed being significantly more. A replacement garden wall is likely to be well over £350 per metre and with heritage bricks, buttresses and ornate coping stones we have seen walls costing over £1,500 per metre.
“RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com should never be confused with the faceless automated calculator. We always run an expert human eye over our assessments, which is why when we quality assure them against our own site surveys we find them to be so accurate.”
Still sceptical about desktop RCAs? If you’ve never placed a desktop order before, why not book a free trial assessment for your own property by the end of March? Simply call 01305 215535 and talk to one of the team.
* One free trial desktop only per broker organisation for own home or business property and who have not previously placed any order for a desktop assessment with RebuildCostASSESSMENT.com. Offer only available until end of March 2019.