What's the difference between an appraisal and a valuation?

Date: 16 October 2014
What's the difference between an appraisal and a valuation?
When you're in the process of selling a house, you want everything to be completed as soon as possible - nobody likes ongoing stress, after all. However, there are some areas where it pays to be thorough and take your time, so you don't get surprised when you receive offers - that's the valuation, which is important to differentiate from an appraisal.

Aren't they just the same thing?

Not at all! While valuations and appraisals perform similar functions, they have very different weightings when it comes to your home. A valuation is a definitive value put upon your home, while an appraisal is more of a general outline of where you can expect people to offer. An appraisal has no legal standing, while a valuation absolutely does. Think of an appraisal as guidelines set out by a friend, while the valuation is the hard line of the law.

How do I get one or the other done to my home?

A valuation has to be completed by a qualified valuer, and can be a complex process - location, structural integrity, zoning, features and a variety of other factors all have to be taken into account to give a full and accurate value of your property. An appraisal can be undertaken by most real estate agents, and is not as lengthy a process, but gives you a 'ballpark' figure on how much the house is worth.

So how do I choose which to get?

Generally, a valuation is used when you're settling on a home sale, perhaps measuring equity against your borrowings or gauging the estate of someone who has passed away - situations in which you'll need an exact figure. An appraisal would be used more often early in the sale process, when you want to get a vague idea of how much you stand to make or lose by selling your home.
Back to articles Filed under: Media / National News Tags: appraisal, price, sell, selling, valuation, value, worth
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