What’s the difference between a home appraisal and home valuation?

Both a home appraisal and a home valuation will give you an idea of what a property is worth. They are two unique services subject to different rules and regulations. Here’s some more information about how each service works.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an estimate of the value of a home by a real estate agent. A home appraisal takes into account factors such as location, land size, the size and position of your home, and build quality. It must also accurately reflect current market conditions and include supportive information about comparable property sales in similar locations.

How are home appraisals carried out?

It’s best if a real estate agent visits your home in-person to provide a complete appraisal. The agent will inspect your property and do independent research and analysis. They will then present you with their final appraisal and explain how they reached this figure.

Another option is an online appraisal. Registered real estate agents have access to up-to-date databases they can use to prepare an initial estimation. They’ll analyse information such as your location, comparable property sales, and other suburb insights to generate the online appraisal. This appraisal will then be subject to an in-person home inspection. Requesting an online appraisal can be a useful first step if you’d like an indication of your home’s value but you’re not quite ready to place your home on the market.

How much do home appraisals cost?

Home appraisals are free. Real estate agents prepare home appraisals for prospective clients free-of-charge.

What is a home valuation?

A home valuation is an independent, impartial assessment of the value of your home. Valuations can only be carried out by a registered property valuer with formal training.

Home valuations are much more thorough than appraisals. They tend to be very lengthy documents and include detailed information about the property. Banks and insurance companies look at valuations, but not appraisals.

How are home valuations carried out?

A registered property valuer will visit your property to thoroughly check its condition. They will analyse similar information as real estate agents do for appraisals – position, location, build quality, etc – as well as additional factors such as council information and zoning, property damage, and environmental risk. Valuers will also physically measure the land and the property size, and take several photos.

How much do property valuations cost?

The cost of a valuation differs depending where in New Zealand the property is and which valuation company you use. In August 2021, the average cost of a home valuation nationwide was around $978 [source: Stuff.co.nz]. The average cost was a bit higher in major cities – around $1088 in Wellington and $1086 in Auckland.

Do I need both?

All properties listed for sale require a home appraisal, so this will be included in your agreement with your real estate agent. A home appraisal will give you a good indication of what you could expect your home to sell for. It’s completely up to you whether you also decide to pay for a more thorough valuation from a registered property valuer.

How to request a home appraisal

It’s never too early to request an appraisal from a real estate agent – having an estimate of your home’s value is a helpful step in the early planning stages.

What to look for when choosing a real estate agent

If you’re considering moving into a retirement village, choosing an agent with relevant experience is a good idea. Some agents have specialist knowledge about how retirement villages differ from traditional real estate. They can guide you through the process step-by-step.

We suggest choosing an agent who has:

  1. A proven track-record of moving clients into retirement villages.
  2. Visited retirement villages in their area and has knowledge they can share.
  3. Connections with professionals in the downsizing space, e.g. tradespeople, cleaners, movers, and declutterers.
  4. A professional and personable approach that relates to a wide range of buyers who might be interested in your home.
  5. Great relationships with other agents to bring additional buyers to your property.

Finding an agent you like and trust is important. You need to feel confident they will work hard on your behalf and make the process as stress-free as possible. Village Guide partners with select agents who meet the above five criteria.

Request an online appraisal through Village Guide

You can request an online appraisal through Village Guide by clicking here. Our trusted partner agents will provide a property report free-of-charge that includes an estimated value of your home and email it to you within two working days.

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