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Most people have not heard about the panel system. This is a system devised by the banks, building societies and mortgage lenders and many estate agents where they will only give work to certain surveyors in their panel. Our experience with panels has been that the person or company giving the work very much dictate how high you have to jump and when you jump. Whilst we are not opposed to standards sometimes this means in our opinion you are simply not doing the best for your client.

As independent surveyors we are not on any panels.  This means we are entirely independent, free from any constraints that a bank, building society or mortgage lender will enforce.  Panels enforce a reciprocal agreement - we have heard on the grapevine these sorts of terms.

We should add that we are not owned by banks, building societies, mortgage lenders or estate agents.

For example some of the big estate agents who own other estate agents they give 10,000 referrals between each other in a year.  They have an agreement.  In the instance of panel valuer's – they tend to look at how much the mortgage is and their valuation comes back at exactly the same figure.  They are looking for ways to agree it's worth that much. 

At 1st Associated we get comparable's, we use computer data and we normally go round to estate agents as well and speak to local contacts. 

Paneler's charge a lot of money for the valuation and not very much for the homebuyers report because their cost is hidden in the mortgage which they will get back over 25 years.  They also do it to make sure you go with them! The amount of surveys are between six to ten a day for a panel surveyor.  Our valuations and surveys take as long as is necessary. We typically do two a day at the most.

Independent Chartered Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a chartered surveyor, and many of us are also chartered builders, with regard to valuations, mortgages, mortgage companies, surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports/specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a chartered surveyor to give you a call back.

Commercial Property

If you have a commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold then sooner or later you may get involved with dilapidation claims. You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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