A property valuation known as a tasación in Spain is broadly equivalent to a Mortgage Valuation Report in the UK. They are mainly used by Spanish banks for the purposes of granting mortgages.

However, buyers hoping to use a professional valuation to guide them in the negotiations over price will probably find their plans thwarted. Spanish vendors seem to have little faith in their accuracy, suspecting that many valuations simply reflect the interests of the party paying for them. Vendors quite often refuse to allow a valuation to take place before the buyer has agreed a price in a signed contract. So, when buying in Spain without a mortgage, there is not much to gain from a valuation, although one should always have a property surveyed before buying, if possible.

The focus on satisfying mortgage lenders means that Spanish valuation reports are quite basic compared to a UK Homebuyers’ Survey and Valuation Report, which provides information on the condition of the property.

A typical valuation report will give basic details, such as rooms and dimensions, and should include photos and simple plans. Some information on the location is given, although this is nothing compared to what you can find for any area in the UK using the internet and the postcode. Planning permissions and residential use licences should also be confirmed in the report many Spanish properties have problems in these areas, so get them checked by a conveyancing lawyer.

You can arrange a valuation through a mortgage broker, bank or insurance company. If you want your valuation report in English, consider going through a chartered surveyor based in Spain. Costs are similar to the UK, often between ?500 and ?1,000, depending upon the value of the property.

Mark Stucklin runs a property information website www.spanishpropertyinsight.com.