Why do banks and agents value your home differently?

Have you ever wondered why your lender will give you one value for a house while the real estate agent has said something completely different?

How do you know the real value of a property when everyone is giving different quotes?

The difference in the two valuations is due to the lender and the agent assessing different aspects of the property’s value – the lender is looking at how much to comfortably lend you in relation to the cost of the property, while the agent is looking for a sale price.

Bank valuations vs market valuation

The property’s market value is the estimated amount for which the property should fetch on the date of valuation, assuming a buyer and seller were to enter willingly into a sales transaction. The bank valuation is the amount that the lender is prepared to lend against the property.

How is the bank valuation made?

The bank or lender appoints a valuer to independently verify the value of the property. As the property is the asset providing security for the loan, the bank valuation generally tends to be more subjective and conservative, to protect the lender financially in case you cannot pay your mortgage and the property must be sold to cover your debt. While the bank valuation is based on extensive research into comparable properties, it will be lowered when the buyer is borrowing more – this is a way for the bank to balance its risk. The bank’s valuer can potentially be held liable if the bank suffers financial loss, so they prefer to make a safer more conservative estimate. The valuer can also advise the bank to refuse the finance application if they believe the buyer has paid too much for the property.

Not happy with the bank valuation?

If you are dissatisfied with the bank valuation of your chosen property, you have two options – request a reassessment of the valuation; or cancel your finance application and start again with another lender. The bank will only do a reassessment if you can provide evidence that comparable properties reflect a higher value than their valuation.

You should also check that the market valuation reflects the true market price of a comparable property, as you may find that the seller has overpriced the property. You can hire an independent valuation company to make a market valuation of the property.

How is the market appraisal made?

The market opinion is assessed by a real estate agent, and establishes the asking price for the home. The agent has a different agenda than the bank’s representative – they want to value the property to achieve the highest possible price in the sale. However, they do need to work realistically within the parameters of recent sales and real estate activity in the area. The vendor can receive valuations from several agents when deciding which agent to appoint to sell the property.

Whether you are buying or selling, contact us today at (08) 8211 7180 or send us an email at info@centramoney.com.au if you want independent advice about your property.

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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.