Now home sellers, including buy-to-let landlords, will soon be able to use smartphones, cameras or laptops to capture and share photographs or video footage of their property with a valuer.
The virtual valuations pioneered by support services firm SimplyBiz allows homeowners to give chartered surveyors a virtual tour of their home without breaching social distancing guidelines.
The service, which provides an alternative to so-called desktop valuations, is already starting to be accepted by some mortgage lenders.
Steve Olejnik, managing director of Mortgages for Business, said: “This is an interesting innovation. A lot of our landlord clients are taking advantage of remote valuations being offered by buy-to-let lenders.”
According to the specialist buy-to-let mortgage broker, the landlord community is benefitting from Shawbrook and Paragon, in particular, who are using virtual valuations for loans against standard properties up to 75% of loan-to-value (LTV).
Olejnik added: “Lenders who require a physical valuation at a higher LTV are generally processing landlords’ remortgage applications as normal – but moving the valuation part of the application to the very end.
“A significant percentage of our landlord clients are happy to do this. They’re content to sit back and wait out the lockdown and get a physical valuation done.”
“But with valuers banned from visiting homes, landlords are finding remortgaging harder than it was. This potentially offers an interesting way forward.”