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How A Trustworthy Agent Is A Fundamental Part Of An Accurate House Valuation

May 19, 2008
While a house valuation may be free, it can sometimes cost you in the long run if it is incorrect. It is worth remembering that when you are receiving a valuation of your house from an agent it is not in fact a valuation. The reason it is free is because it is just an opinion of what your house could sell for and gives little indication of what your house is worth. The word 'opinion' is important because legally it does not have to be accurate. This is why if you are applying for mortgages and insurance policies the valuation must be carried out by a chartered surveyor and not an estate agent.

That is not to say that agent's valuations are always wrong. Normally it is in the agent's interests to give your house an accurate valuation free from bias. After all, they are pursuing a sale as much as you are and while undervaluing a property may increase the rapidity of a sale, it will harm their pocket as well as yours.

Many property owners may be worried by unscrupulous agents who are willing to give an overvaluation to gain the business of a client. This is when online property valuation websites can be a useful resource. These free services use a database of thousands of houses and hence are able to give independent and unbiased advice on the worth of a house, without trying to win over your business. These are becoming increasingly popular with sellers as the free advice is welcomed and can give a general figure before agents start to undertake valuations of your property.

The risks of receiving an unrealistic valuation of your home can be catastrophic, hence it is important to find an agent you can trust, and one that gives a valuation in line with those given by the online resources. Finding a trustworthy agent is not as difficult as the press would have you believe; while they are there to make a profit and nothing else, many have realised the importance of good customer service. In the real estate industry, customer loyalty and recommendation is free marketing that is worth its weight in gold.

If the valuation of your home is too low you run the risk of losing thousands when it comes to the time of sale, sadly there are some agencies out there that will happily undervalue a property in order to achieve a quick sale. It is worth remembering that fees are calculated on a percentage basis and hence the losses to an agent of a hundred can often relate to thousands lost for you. Thankfully these agents are in the minority underlying the importance of using a trustworthy well respected agency.

If your house valuation is too high the opposite can happen. Your property can sit on the market for months and even years. This is usually done in order to gain clients quickly, safe in the knowledge that at some point the client will drop their price in order to sell more quickly. Once again this can be avoided by heading to trusted agencies.

These two situations are not in fact the norm in the property industry, the free valuations given by estate agents are normally as accurate as their knowledge allows. The majority out there want you to get the best price for your house and are not purely interested in courting your business or selling quickly. Finding an agent who is sympathetic to your needs should be a major concern. Trustworthiness is another key issue that can usually be satisfied by using a well known and trusted agency; after all, they have the reputation to lose.

Hopefully this advice will let home owners and those wishing to sell their property to receive the best valuation as possible. Selling a house is a stressful enough experience as it is, with saying goodbye to a home and having to relocate. Having a good estate agent can make all the difference and limit the stress on your part.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into how the quality of your agent will affect the accuracy of your free house valuation.
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