Property Valuation – 2010 Blog Highlights

The launch of the website was a big highlight of the Propertytoolbox year and because the website gives you the ability to read about, compare and choose your local property valuers we showcased the property valuation profession in the Blog. These articles were our best bits about property valuation in the Propertytoolbox Blog for 2010:


Because Propertytoolbox is all about giving NZ home buyers independent advice and information that will help them make good house buying decisions we decided to create a website that helps you choose a property valuer. By profiling your local property valuers makes your choice of valuer a lot easier. We currently only have Wellington valuers on the website but over the coming months we will get representation from valuers from all over NZ – exciting stuff!! Check out our Wellington property valuers profiles here. And read more about what we intend to achieve with this website in our Blog article ‘Property valuation NZ – helping you find a property valuer’.

2. Property Valuers – How Else Can They Help?

Don’t property valuers just value property for your bank? No! Property valuers have a wealth of information about suburbs, planning, building etc and can really help you out with house buying advice in the form of property consultations. This Blog article ‘Property valuers – useful for more than just a market value’ explains all.

3. Working Out Market Value

How does the property valuer work out market value? A lot of analysis and technique goes into finding out the market value of a house – you may be surprised! This Blog article attempts to explain what is involved – ‘How does the valuer work out the market value?’ Want to find out more about property valuation? Check out the Propertytoolbox property valuation guide – or browse around on the website.

Is the RV a Price Guide?

The Rateable Value of a house (or RV) is often quoted in the advertising for a house for sale - the suggestion is that it provides some kind of indication of the market value of the house - but does it?

What is the RV?

The RV is the rateable value or the 'value' of a house set by the local authority for the purpose of determining and allocating rates. The RV is also sometimes known as the government valuation (GV) or capital value (CV).

Why is the Rateable Value Quoted in House Adverts

Real estate agents often mention the RV in advertising, most often this is because people like to know the rateable value! But sometimes it is because the real estate agent or home owner feels that the RV is a good indication of the market value of the house. The RV's relationship to the market value of the house is ultimately up to you to decide, here are some things to consider:

Rateable Value v Price

The rateable value doesn't usually take into account anything that makes a property better or worse than others in the area, for example condition of the house and land, chattels included, landscaping improvements, and so on. Sometimes the RV is a good rough-guide of value but other times it is completely irrelevant.

An RV can be very out of date! RV's are done at least every 3 years - this can be a long time in the property market. Check the date of the rateable value - it may be 2+ years old - and not relevant in the current market.

Should I Use The RV as a Price Guide?

As a rule, you should only use the rateable value in combination with other information, like your own experience or a registered property valuation. If you are looking for the rateable value of a house - you can find out rateable value information on your local council's website for free.

Property Valuation and Rateable Values

One last thing! A registered property valuation done by a registered valuer is not a rateable value or a RV, and a registered valuation should not be referred to as an RV. To find a registered valuer - visit Property Valuation NZ.

Is the Rateable Value a Price Guide

The Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide

This information about the RV as a price guide was from the resources section of Property Valuation NZ – the home of the property valuer profile – making it easy for you to make a good decision when choosing a local property valuer.

Property Valuers – Useful for More Than Just a Market Value

Property valuers - in addition to providing property valuations that determine the market worth of houses - can provide consultation. A consultation by a property valuer is usually a verbal report and discussion about the house you are interested in. Why would you want a consultation with a property valuer when you are buying a house? There are lots of reasons!

An experienced valuer has seen lots of houses and is familiar with house types, building eras, construction methods & materials – they also have an understanding of engineering and architecture. This is handy info to have access to!

Valuers also keep up-to-date with local district plans and will be familiar with the Resource Management Act and other relevant legislation and regulations like the Building Code. Insight into this information can be very useful when looking at a house.

And even though a property valuer is usually not an expert in building and engineering matters – they can identify problems that you can then investigate further, using the relevant professional, if necessary.

Property valuers have a lot of knowledge to reference and can give a knowledgeable, and therefore, very useful assessment of the worthiness of a house. They can quickly point out the good and the bad points and, better yet, give an indication as to how this affects, or will affect over time, the market value of a property.

A consultation with a property valuer regarding a house can be good value for money – usually being cheaper than getting a full property valuation report. This expert knowledge is a valuable resource and the availability of property valuers for consultation is handy to know about – if you are after an unbiased property professional to give you an honest opinion – it is the way to go.

Another great way property valuers can help is in estimating of what a house could be worth after planned renovations. You can provide a valuer with a brief of your plans or your drawings and they can give you a post renovation estimate of worth that can help you work out if an investment in renovations is worth it. This is usually done as an add-on to a property valuation – but can be done in a consultation capacity.

So property valuers are not all about market value and are not just a box to tick as part of getting a mortgage – they are a property professional with heaps of great relevant knowledge, and experience – and best of all – they can provide an unemotional, unbiased opinion of the house you are looking to buy.

Interested in find a property valuer to help you out? You know where to go! Property Valuation NZ!

Choosing a Property Valuer – The Valuation Inspection & Report

Last Blog post we got the basic questions to ask a property valuer sorted – now we are getting down to the good stuff - finding out what the property valuer does during the valuation house inspection, and how the property valuation results and property valuation report are delivered. All these questions are answered for you on Property Valuation NZ – so if you want to get straight to finding and comparing local property valuers – head this way.

About the Valuation Inspection and Report


Question 5: How long will it take? When can I expect your report?

The valuer should be let you know when the report will be ready before you hire them. A valuation can usually be done (paper report produced) within 4 days. Many valuers are very accommodating and can work in with your deadlines - good practice for valuers is to not accept the work if they cannot meet your timelines. They should also let you know what is a realistic timeline given your situation - a lot depends on access to the house – this is the biggest delaying factor – if a valuer cannot get into the house it can really impact on delivery times. Valuers can do urgent reports - an urgent report is one that usually needs to be done within 24 hours – an extra cost may apply.

Question 6: Do you fully inspect the property?

You want to be sure that your valuer will fully measure the property, and report any defects. From any property valuer complying with valuer standards – this can be expected. You may also want to know how much of this information will be in the property valuation report. Some valuers give more detail in a verbal report and put the key details in the valuation report – others provide a very comprehensive report – you can let your property valuer know what suits you.

Question 7: Are you available to discuss the valuation results and report if I have any questions?

All property valuers should be willing to go through the report contents with you and back up any findings. Many property valuers will ring you to discuss their findings once they have completed the valuation inspection and determined a market value of your house. Once all has been discussed, the report is produced and sent. Even after you receive the final valuation report your valuer should be available to discuss aspects of the report and to provide consultation.

Question 8: How will the report be delivered?

The majority of valuers will send you the final valuation report as a .pdf via email – which is great as it is convenient and fast.  It is no longer standard practice to send you an original copy of the valuation report – but it is always a good idea to get an original, signed, paper copy of the report sent to you (this may be  the only thing that a bank will accept for purposes of getting mortgage finance).

One final thing  - to be sure that they are the right valuer for you – asking to see a sample report can give you a good idea of what kind out product you will be getting.

Property Valuation NZ asks all these questions for you! Making it easy for you to choose a residential property valuer near you. Looking for a property valuer – Property Valuation NZ has all the info you need.

Choosing a Property Valuer – The Basic Questions

We're in the property valuation zone here at Propertytoolbox now that we have Property Valuation NZ up and running. On the Property Valuation NZ website we profile NZ property valuers using standardised ‘Valuer Profile’ listings and group them by region and area – so you can compare your local valuers apples for apples before you choose one.

We ask 13 questions of your local property valuers as part of the ‘Valuer Profile’ on Property Valuation NZ – in the following article there is some background as to just what those questions are all about – just what we are trying to find out and why…

The questions below aren’t the exact questions on Property Valuation NZ – some of this stuff we already have sorted just by only profiling residential valuers and grouping them by area – but these questions form the core of what you need to know about a property valuer before you hire them and why.

The Basic Questions

Question 1: Do you normally do valuations of residential property?

Property valuers value all sorts of things – commercial property, farms, lifestyle blocks, apartments and residential houses. You will get the best degree of accuracy with your valuation if you can choose a valuer with experience valuing your type of property. Some valuers do value all these types of properties – but most will have a main focus – a property type that they spend the most time valuing – with your property valuer you want this to be residential property.

Question 2: How well do you know the area that my house is in?

A familiarity with the area will give the valuation a higher degree of accuracy. The valuer will have researched similar property before, will be familiar with house sale statistics in the area, and is likely to have visited a number of houses in the area as part of their valuation work – giving them a really good basis to give you an accurate valuation.

Question 3: Do they have any alliance or association with any of the parties involved?

Valuers have a responsibility to disclose information that could be considered to affect their ability to provide an unbiased report. If there is a close conflict of interest, the valuer should refer you on to a different valuer. Question 4: Do you hold professional indemnity insurance? Just to be safe - it is a good idea to make sure that your property valuer is insured.

Question number 3 is not covered off in the Property Valuation NZ valuer profiles – so make sure to ask the valuer this one yourself when you talk to them.

Property Valuation NZ covers off as much as possible of these questions for you – making it easy for you to choose a residential property valuer near you – we like that!

So now you have the basics sorted – next Blog post we are going to discuss questions you need to ask to find out all you need to know about the valuation inspection and the report.

Property Valuation NZ – Helping You Find a Property Valuer

Looking for a registered property valuer in Wellington? Or anywhere in NZ for that matter? You need Property Valuation NZ! This new website – created by the team here at Propertytoolbox is a website dedicated to property valuation in NZ.

Why was the Property Valuation NZ website created? We wanted to make it easy for you to make an informed choice when you were choosing a property valuation professional to help you with your house purchase. The Property Valuation NZ website does this through ‘Profiling’ NZ property valuers.

Want to hear more about ‘The Profile’? Here at Propertytoolbox we have always recommended a list of standard questions to ask when you are choosing a property valuer, and we suggest that you ask these questions of a few property valuers before you make a choice. But we understand that you’re busy, and you probably will have the deadline of an ‘unconditional by’ date on a sale and purchase agreement limiting your time – so calling one property valuer is hard enough let alone 3 or more! In ‘The Profile’ we have done the question asking for you!

‘The Profile’ is a standardised listing where all property valuers answer the same essential questions about themselves and their property valuation service. Seeing all the valuers are answering the same questions in their profiles – you can compare them apples for apples. Check out the profiles of Wellington property valuers.

Property Valuation NZ also groups these valuers into local areas. This makes it easier to choose a valuer who has experience valuing houses in your area, and considers your area their ‘patch’.

The property valuer profile is a NZ first, giving you insight into your local property valuers and making it quick and easy to choose the right property valuer for you. This NZ property valuer profiling is advertising, and not all property valuers are represented. But those that are have proven themselves open and forthcoming with answers to our property valuer profile questions – that dig deeper…

And there is more – We have expanded on the information about property valuation that we have in the Propertytoolbox website and created a ‘Resources’ section on the Property Valuation NZ website – this is the best place to go to find all you need to know about property valuation related topics.

And this is all in one place - on – we hope we have made it easy and convenient for you to read about and choose a property valuer near you – helping you to make a confident house buying decision.

Currently we only profile property valuers in Wellington, sorry about that! But we will be rolling out all over NZ in the coming months – Property valuers in Auckland, then Christchurch property valuers, and then pretty much property valuers everywhere else in NZ will soon be profile on Property Valuation NZ so watch this space…

So if you are looking for a property valuer in Wellington, or maybe a property valuer in Lower Hutt, or perhaps even a Kapiti Coast property valuer - check out our current registered property valuer profiles on Property Valuation NZ.

Launching the new website has all the team here at Propertytoolbox thinking about property valuation so for the next few weeks we are going to be focusing on property valuation in the Propertytoolbox Blog. Next weeks article – those infamous questions – just what to ask your property valuer before you choose them and why…

Want an instant property valuation information download – Heres all the property valuation information you will need.

Should I Get a Valuation, Building Inspection, and LIM Before Making an Offer?

There is a cost to getting all of these reports prior to making an offer on a house - so why should you get them done?

Advantages of Getting Your Due Diligence Done Prior to Offering

The main advantage of having your valuation, building inspection and LIM done prior to offering is you have a full understanding of the house and its worth to you.

Another major advantage is that getting a valuation, building inspection and LIM usually means you can get unconditional finance approval for that house and can then choose to make a cash (unconditional) offer – this sort of offer is very appealing to vendors.

When a cash, unconditional offer is agreed and signed it is binding, the house is sold! A cash offer can give you bargaining power and you can often buy a house for a lower price with a condition free cash offer.

The Disadvantages...

The main disadvantage is the cost. Altogether, these reports will cost well over $1000 – just how much depends on the house itself. This money is potentially being spent on a house you may never buy.

In normal house negotiation situations (not a tender, or auction) putting your building inspection, valuation and/or LIM as a condition in your offer is standard. If a price is agreed on – then you get the reports (do your due diligence).

Houses for Sale By Auction or Tender - Due Diligence

In the case of an auction, if you want them, you need get your valuation, building inspection, LIM and unconditional finance prior to the auction as when you are bidding you are making an unconditional offer for the house; if you are the winner bidder – you have bought the house.

In a tender situation – adding a building inspection, valuation and/or LIM to your tender puts you well below a cash offer in the rankings. Your offer will need to be significantly higher then other tenders to be seriously considered in this situation.

So if you are serious about your tender – try to make as close to a cash offer as possible – this usually means doing your valuation, building inspection and/or LIM prior to the tender date and getting an unconditional finance offer so you don’t have conditions in your tender.

Due Dilligence You Can Do For Free

No matter what you decide to do, we recommend you read our before you put in that offer section, here we have 4 things you can do at minimal cost (free even) that will let you get to know the house you are thinking of buying. You may find that what you discover changes your mind, saving you the cost of hiring the professionals altogether.

Building Inspection Property Valuation and LIM Before Making an Offer - Due Diligence

The Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide

Want more info and advice? Head to the Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide for all you need to know about buying a house in NZ. We have comprehensive information about property valuation and building inspection that can help with those pre-offer decisions.

How Much Will a Property Valuation Cost?

Costs for a registered property valuation can vary and often depend on many things including size of the property, as well as location. The cost of a valuation is usually in the range $500-$800. If you are planning to get a valuation, make sure to ring around at least 3 valuers and get a quote - Property Valuation NZ can help you out with this. Most valuers will be able to give you a fairly accurate indication of the valuation cost over the phone. They will ask you a few questions about the property, i.e. address, floor area, number of bedrooms so that they can give you an accurate quote.

Often the most expensive property to value will be an unusual one - it may not be big or grand, just unique. Valuers rely heavily on comparable sales data to base their conclusions of market value on. If a house is unusual and therefore has very little comparable sales data, this makes the house difficult to value. A valuation can still be done but can often take time; this is when the costs can increase.

To busy to call around property valuers? Property Valuation NZ is a website that profiles NZ property valuers - asking them all the things you need to know and giving it to you in the form of a standardised valuer profile - sounds good? Find a property valuer near you now!

Want to get a better idea of the market value of a house before you call in the professionals? Check out our suggestions on how you can work out the value of a house.


Where Can I Find a Valuer? is a great place to find a property valuer. The website profiles property valuers in your area and includes information on experience, costs and the valuation service they provide.

The majority of valuers are also listed in the yellow pages. The listings include individuals and companies, as many valuers work for themselves, but many do work for larger valuation companies.

You can also go to the Property Institute of New Zealand (PINZ) website. Here you can find a list of registered valuers in your area.

If you need to get a valuer, these are good places to start. Recommendations from friends are also a valid. But do not use recommendations from your real estate agent for a valuer! Your real estate agent is not independent from the process so it is best to avoid them as a source of valuer recommendations.

The great thing about the property valuer profiles is that the essential questions to ask when choosing a property valuer have been asked (and answered) for you. Find out about the right questions to ask when choosing a property valuer here.



How Does The Valuer Work Out The Market Value?

A property valuer combines all their knowledge and experience with their observations and research undertaken on the a property and its surrounding area, and comes up with a market value.

A property valuer will:

  • Inspect the house inside and out.
  • Measure the dimensions of the house and rooms.
  • Note the building construction type and the materials used.
  • Estimate or find out the age of the house.
  • Rate the condition of the house.
  • Inspect the house inside including looking at walls, floors, ceilings, doors, design features, natural and artificial light, ventilation, exterior cladding, the roof, guttering, and fencing.
  • Take into account outstanding maintenance.
  • Measure garages and note car parking and access.
  • Inspect the site noting any issues such as flooding, drainage, and subsidence.
  • Check out the immediate neighbours, the street, and the local area - and will note positives and negatives.
  • Work out the distance to the centre of town and look at the convenience of public transport.
  • Refer to the district plan and note the present use of the property in relation to its zoning.
  • Take into account the type of title.
  • Collect data about recent sales that can be used to value the property.
  • Make an assessment of marketability based on their observations.
  • Take into account the current state of the real estate market for that type of house in that area.
  • Prepare a written report.

Find a Property Valuer in NZThe valuation is not guesswork! A lot of analysis goes into a valuation report. A property valuer has to be confident that they are right, as people depend on their assessment and, legally, they can be held responsible if they get it wrong.

Valuers can also help you out with estimations of what a house could be worth after planned renovations. You can provide a Valuer with a brief of your plans and they can give you a post renovation estimate of worth that can help you work out if an investment in renovations is worth it.