What is a Probate House Valuation?

There’s so much to think about when someone close to you passes away, especially if you’ve been named an executor of the estate. But before you can carry out your loved one’s wishes, you’ll need to arrange a valuation of the assets they’ve left behind – including their property.

In this guide, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions around probate valuations. These include:

If you’ve been chosen to execute an estate and you’re not sure where to start, we could help you. Our Wills and Probate solicitors are experts in this area, and will support you in navigating the process of distributing your loved one’s estate.

Do I need an official house valuation for probate?

It’s widely recommended that you get a professional probate valuation for any asset that exceeds £1,500. The only cases where this won’t apply is if the entire estate is going to a spouse or civil partner, or if the total estate is worth less than £250,000.

The reason it’s so important to use a professional for this service is because there could be inheritance tax implications. HMRC are continuously looking out for incorrect probate valuations, and there are often hefty fines imposed for those who are caught out.

To avoid this additional cost, we would always suggest using an estate agent or chartered surveyor when valuing a property for probate.

If the property you’re handling is lower in value and unlikely to be taxed, an estate agent’s valuation will be sufficient. But if you’re dealing with a more expensive or complex property, it may be best to instruct a surveyor to carry out what’s called a ‘Red Book valuation’.

How much does a probate house valuation cost?

This will depend on who you use to carry out the valuation.

Estate agents will often conduct valuations for a very low price, or for free. This is because they will be hoping to take on the selling rights for the property. But it’s important that you let the agent know that the valuation is for probate purposes, not to find out what you could sell the property for.

If you use a chartered surveyor for your probate valuation, things could get a bit more expensive. How much you’re charged will ultimately depend on the size and location of your property, but you can expect to pay at least £250 (not inclusive of VAT).

While this may seem like a lot of money for a valuation, it will likely be worth it in the long term. This is primarily because valuations performed by a chartered surveyor are less likely to be challenged by HMRC, so there will be a lower chance of you facing any fines.

What is the difference between probate value and market value?

Probate value is usually determined using strict HMRC guidelines, whereas market value is more of a broad estimate based on the sale price of similar properties.

When valuing a probate property, surveyors will be considering factors such as:

  • How old the property is
  • Location of the property
  • Renovations made or interesting features
  • The type of property
  • What condition the property is in
  • Whether there are any ongoing disputes , such as disagreements with neighbours

Each of these points should be reflected in your valuation report, so you can clearly demonstrate how the property has been valued if there are any challenges raised.

How to value house contents for probate

For most people, their property will be the largest asset left behind when they die. But what about everything that’s in it?

The thought of going through your loved one’s things can feel overwhelming, and you may be feeling unsure of where to start. Making a list can help with this. Try to jot down anything you think could hold value, then look online for similar items to get an idea of what they could be worth.

If there are antiques, valuable artworks or collectible items in the property, it’s always worth arranging a professional valuation.

We understand that the process of distributing an estate can be daunting. But we’re here to offer a helping hand. To find out more about how we can help, give us a call or start your enquiry online.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.


It seems you are using an outdated browser.

This will impair your browsing experience around the web. Please visit one of the links below to update to a modern browser then re-open the site with the new browser.

Thank you


Can't find what you are looking for?

We are open as normal during the Coronavirus lockdown and are able to help with all your legal needs.

Call us free of charge

0800 567 7866

Request a Callback

Continue browsing