August 2014

Valuation vs. Sale Price

Tales From the Corner

Is a valuation a useful tool for buyers and sellers?

Its an old cliché – agents are too optimistic, valuers are too conservative – so what do you get if you combine the two?

Trevor Matthews, licensee of Matthews Real Estate, is both and can provide a unique take on the issue.

“There is essentially no difference between a valuers assessment and an agents appraisal. As long as both are using good, reliable sales evidence, and they apply it appropriately, they should come up with pretty much the same figure.”

If you ask sellers, they often say if you get in multiple agents for an appraisal, a broad range of estimated sale prices can follow.

“Real estate is competitive and listings are crucial for the businesses, but it’s important to get the list price right or your seller’s property can sit on the shelf for too long waiting for a buyer.”

Matthews says there is always a price point where a seller and buyer meets, and sellers need to ensure their agent can tell them what that figure should be.

“It should be accepted that value estimates can’t come in on the exact dollar every time, but if you know your market, you should always be able to come up with a reasonable price range supported by sales evidence.”

What about valuation reports

Matthews says a valuation report can be a very useful tool for either side in a negotiation.

“There are plenty of cases where sellers want more than their property is worth, and buyers want to get a bargain.

“A valuation report can give the situation a shot of realism so both parties know what the figure should be.”

Who do you work for?

While realism is one thing, sellers must be aware the agent is working for them, and that means trying to get the best price possible.

“As an agent, its important that the seller’s interests are put first – they’re the ones paying your wage and trusting you with their property, so you’ve got to take care of them.”

Being a great representative, however, also means you aren’t afraid to share the realities, however harsh.

“As I said – many buyers want more than is reasonable for their property. It’s always best to be honest and upfront about what you think is achievable – even if the client believes they can set a new sale-price record for the suburb. It does no one any favours to lead them on about their price expectations – it can actually damage their chances of achieving a reasonable sale outcome because buyers get ‘burnt out’ by a listing that sits on the websites for too long.”

Matthews says bringing some of his valuer skills to the agency game has helped keep his business on track for decades.

“As a valuer, I’ve been able to draw on industry experience and contacts to keep up to date with the market. I also have to accrue CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points as part of my industry body membership (the Australian Property Institute).

“This entails doing courses and going to market presentations throughout the course of the year.

“While our bread-and-butter is around agency and management, valuation adds another arrow to our agencies quiver so our clients can benefit.”

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