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Lenders that offer free property valuations

A property valuation helps lenders, buyers and sellers determine what a property is really worth. Here's how you can get one for free.

You need a property valuation when selling or buying one and applying for a mortgage. A qualified valuer assesses the property and determines a likely idea of its worth as part of the mortgage application process.

Valuers use certain factors to help determine the monetary value of a property, including location, building condition, fixtures/fittings, and the market in the area.

This house valuation costs money, but the good news is – some lenders offer free property valuations.

How much does a property valuation cost?

According to Stuff, New Zealand’s “average valuation cost just over $978 this year, up from $815 in 2019 and $698 in 2016″ (Stuff, August 13, 2021). Lenders often charge this to you as a valuation fee, but some offer free property valuations.

What about free online property valuations?

To obtain a free online price estimate, all you need is a few details like the property address and your email address. These estimates can be beneficial when researching property prices, but they are not a replacement for an in-person valuation by a professional valuer.

Sites that offer free valuations:

Why do you need a property valuation?

There are a few reasons why you may need a property valuation.

  1. Buying a home. If you are looking at purchasing a property, you may source an independent valuer to determine the property’s value. The report they provide you can give an insight into the good and bad aspects of the property and help you decide how much you should offer the sellers.
  2. Selling a home. When you are selling your home, it is essential to understand what your property is worth. The value helps you determine the right listing price to attract potential buyers and maximise your profits.
  3. Obtaining a loan. When you are trying to get or refinance a loan for a property, your lender organises a property valuation to determine the value of a loan.

What you should know about free valuations

When obtaining a loan, a bank prefers to use its valuer to meet its strict guidelines. However, the bank still performs its valuation even if you get your property valuation from an independent valuer.

More than one valuation

While many loans offer free valuations, this usually only covers the first valuation. If you need to get another valuation within the same loan for any reason, this often won’t be covered.

Also, remember that homes in regional areas might cost more to value as they may be more difficult for valuers to access. Thus, these homes may attract a valuation charge in some cases, even if they are usually free to other borrowers.

Property valuation vs market appraisal

A professional property valuation is performed on behalf of the lender. It is usually below market value because it determines the minimum price you can sell the house for to protect the lender. In addition, the lender requires a valuation to measure their risk – they want to know that if you stop making repayments for any reason, they can sell the property and recover their loan amount, which is why valuations are usually quite conservative.

On the other hand, real estate agents perform a market appraisal acting on behalf of the vendor. They use the same factors to determine value but wants to get the highest possible price for a property.

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