Real Estate Agents vs Professional Property Valuers, Who Really Knows Their Stuff?
The showdown continues!
For those looking to buy a house, sell a house, got to court with an accurate value of their house or tell a government agency how much their house is worth, a professional opinion is an absolute necessity. Property valuation is quite a complex science … and if you have already gotten a few quotes from property valuers, you may be wondering if you need a professional, or if you can get away with the ‘free’ version from a real estate agent. Today we pit the two teams against each other in the ring … who will be knocked out first?!
Professional Property Valuers – Their Strengths
Here’s why you can only use a professional property valuer’s opinion in court, in a bank and for government purposes.
Property valuers must be qualified: Before valuing any property, all valuers must have completed tertiary qualifications.
Certification and industry standards: Property valuers must have undergone a certification process, and their valuing techniques must adhere to industry standards – there is simply no way to get a highly unreliable valuation.
Predetermined factors, not opinion: Values for given properties are based on a set of predetermined factors applied to a time-tested valuing method. Real estate agents’ ‘valuations’ is based on experience and opinion.
Professional Property Valuers – Their Weaknesses
They’re the undisputed heavyweight in the property valuation-accuracy challenge … but they do have some minor drawbacks!
Cost: As with any professional service, there is a cost involved in having a qualified expert appraise the value of your property.
Real Estate Agents – Their Strengths
Real estate agents put up a reasonable fight in this challenge … but do they come out on top?
They’re free: This is the determining factor in many people’s decisions. Unfortunately, the allure of getting a service for free often costs home owners and buyers more in the long term. Undervalued properties will sell quickly, but the owners could have had so much more. Overvalued properties will sit on the market accumulating agent marketing fees and potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of extra loan interest.
They’re on the front lines in a particular area: Real estate agents may have ‘qualitative’ knowledge that can complement the factual knowledge that dominates professional valuers’ opinions. For example, they may be able to give opinions on how long the property will stay on the market for at a particular value, the percentage of investors versus owner occupiers looking for property currently, etc.
Real Estate Agents: The Weaknesses
Unfortunately, in the accuracy stakes real estate agents simply don’t measure up to professional valuers.
Only salesperson qualifications needed: The minimum qualification for real estate agents consists of a two-week course, compared to tertiary qualifications for valuers.
The vested interest question: Real estate agents have a significant vested interest in the value of your property. If they estimate higher than market value, they get a bigger commission. If they estimate lower than market value, the property may sell more quickly and reduce their workload.
With the noted exception of the qualitative knowledge that real estate agents can provide, it’s clear that professional valuers provide a far more accurate representation of your property’s value. After all , if the banks, the courts and the taxation department all ask for professionals …
Buying a house can be a stressful time, filled with uncertainty. By enlisting the help of a property valuers, you can at once eliminate stress and give yourself the best chance of a good deal. For property valuations, contact WBP Property.