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The Importance Of Objectivity When Having A Property Valuation

Aug 29, 2008
It is rarely the case that our own estimates of the value of a property actually relate to a valuation by an estate agent or a surveyor. The value of property is understandably an emotive issue; for many people a property is a home, and not just a financial commodity. Whether looking to sell a property, or to have it remortgaged, a valuation is a vital process. The current malaise in the property market means that many will be disappointed with the eventual figure; however, there are still some out there who may be pleasantly surprised.

These people will most probably be in the minority though; property in the UK is now worth less than it has been. This is because of a shift of emphasis in market conditions. In the past decade or so the seller has been in the primacy, being able to sell there property for astronomical figures. However the situation is changing, with the credit crisis and mortgage lenders less willing to lend, a shift has occurred to the buyer. Naturally this shift has meant that property will be worth less, understandably, any valuation figures will reflect this.

Despite the media claiming that the property market and more generally the economy is in total free fall, this is not the case. Decline is hard to dispute but the rate of this decline has attracted a great deal of conjecture. While mortgages may be hard to come by, there are still a large number of buyers waiting for prices to drop to an affordable level. Many experts within the real estate industry recognise this situation and as a result are inclined to lower valuation figure gradually to entice first time buyers. If an injection of first time buyers does occur, it should be possible for the market to avoid stagnation and once again climb to previous levels.

As previously stated remortgaging a home means that a valuation will have to be made. Normally this will have to be conducted by a surveyor rather than an estate agent. This is due to the fact that a valuation from a surveyor and an agent differ in one fundamental aspect. While a surveyor will try to give the homeowner an idea of the true value of a property, an agent attempts to arrive at a figure that the house 'could' sell at on the open market. Ultimately the difference is substance, while the agent is interested in marketing the home, the surveyor purely wants to give an idea of true worth.

In order for both surveyors and agents to conduct a valuation there are number of factors they must include in the process. The current state of the property is of vital importance, including the kitchen, bathroom, gardens and general quality there are other factors that must also be included. Of these the current market conditions must be included when arriving at a figure; naturally the sum must be in line with similar properties on the market today. Additionally a surveyor or agent must look at whether any maintenance issues may affect the eventual figure, for instance if the roof needs repairing, the valuation will reflect the cost of this work. This process requires some guesswork on the part of the valuing party, hence getting numerous valuations is always an advisable course of action.

Once the agent or surveyor has taken all of these factors into account they will be able to find a suitable figure. At this stage it is important to keep a cool head and not to set your hopes too high. Look at your property objectively and you will not go far wrong in finding a figure that is agreeable.
About the Author
Real estate expert Thomas Pretty looks into the property valuation process and how market conditions are an essential component when arriving at a figure.
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