Preparing for a Valuation

by Nick Papadopoulos

Preparing for a Valuation

The difference between a normal valuation and a great valuation could be as simple as moving the lawn. Well, not entirely, but there are some definite things you (the property owner) can do to get the best valuation figure for your property.

In general terms, a more functional and well located property will achieve a higher valuation figure than one less so, therefore, if you are in the process of attaining a valuation of a property to us as a refinancing tool for your investment portfolio then ensure it has the above two characteristics.

Whether you are requesting the valuation privately or through a bank or finance broker, there are 3 basic ‘Golden Rules’,

  1. Present the property well. Ensure all is neat and tidy.
  2. Have as much information for the valuer as you can.
  3. Leave them at peace to do the job.

The Essential Property Valuation Checklist

Prior to inspection:

For the bank, Finance Broker or Valuer

  • List of improvements and costs in an easy to read format
  • Clear instructions. Ensure you communicate whether you want an ‘ if complete’ valuation (in the case of improvements under construction) or an ‘as is’ valuation reflecting the property as it is inspected by the valuer.
  • Clear contact details including all your full names, phone numbers (home & mobile), email address and any alternate contact details that may help ensure a complete and accurate profile.
  • Access details. Make sure you provide the best contact numbers to call so that access can be made quickly and easily. If you have tenants, ensure the tenants are suitably informed as to exactly what the situation is so that they don’t try to deny access.
  • Clear directions to the property if it is an out of the way location. If there is any doubt as to the address of the property (such as a corner allotment or the properties in your area have recently been renumbered) then supply all possible address locations. This allows the valuation company to search the various government database systems in the event that you were not able to supply a rates notice.

For the property

  • Make any improvements prior to the valuation and ensure they are complete. Be careful of overcapitalizing by attempting to add value through improvements that try to place the property in a higher price bracket than it is actually likely to sell for. Outdoor living areas are an example where improvements can add value more than their cost providing they are functional and well presented. Other examples are kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Clean up the yards and gardens and mow lawns
  • Repair and obvious defects
  • Clean the interior of the house
  • Prepare the house as if you were selling it. Presentation is an important factor in any valuation.

During the Inspection

  • Copy of the building floor plans and elevations
  • Rates Notice
  • List of recent improvements and costs in an easy to read format
  • Recent sales evidence that you are aware of. (Note: general hearsay may not be accurately recorded and therefore may not be utilized).
  • Leave the valuer to perform their duty. The actual valuation inspection time does not take long so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t seem like the valuer hasn’t seen everything and don’t take them on a guided tour. They are professional people who are trained to look for relevant items and can do it quickly and effectively. Tell the valuer to come and see you if they want to clarify anything and leave it to that. The valuer will appreciate it.
  • Be honest

After the Inspection

  • Be patient. Don’t ask the valuer what they think the property is worth. They still have substantial research to complete after they inspect your property and therefore will not be able to give you an accurate figure onsite. Wait until you receive word from the finance broker or bank or until you receive the valuation from the firm directly.
  • Liaise with your bank or finance broker to find out the assessed valuation figure. Few instructions are able to give you this information due to banking and privacy laws.
  • Do not ring the valuation firm(unless you ordered the valuation directly yourself) as they are legally bound to deal only with the requesting party, ie. The bank or lending institution.
  • Be realistic with the anticipated assessed value.