A valuation fee is a charge levied by the bank or building society that intends to lend you your mortgage. It refers to the process of valuing a property to discover how much it is worth. The mortgage valuation helps the lender to confirm it is worth enough to cover the amount they are considering lending to you to buy it.
The valuation fee is normally paid in advance of the mortgage valuation taking place. When you apply for a mortgage, you should be informed how much the valuation fee will be and when you need to pay it. Typically, the fee isn’t refundable if something should occur that causes you to withdraw from the mortgage application. If, however, you pull out prior to the valuation taking place, you may be able to seek a refund. You should read the terms and conditions relating to the mortgage and the various fees associated with it. This should tell you whether a refund may be due under certain circumstances (as well as how much all mortgage fees would be).
It is important to remember that the valuation fee is for the benefit of the lender and not the buyer. The valuation merely gives an impression of how much the property is worth. It does not go into detail about the features or condition of the property other than what is obvious from a basic glance. That means you must request your own survey (for example, a Homebuyers Survey) to get a better idea of what you are buying. In the case of older properties or those that clearly need work, a full structural survey would be a better idea.