Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What does the term Registered Valuer mean?

    The term Registered Valuer means any valuer registered under the Valuers Act 1948. In essence, a Registered Valuer is an appropriately qualified person who performs valuations for the public of New Zealand in the context of the Valuers Act 1948. Valuers Act 1948

  • What does a Residential Valuation cost?

    The cost varies and depends on the nature of the property and location. Anyone seeking a valuation is best to contact a Registered Valuer in their area.

  • What can I do if I’m unhappy with my valuation?

    If you have a concern with a valuation prepared by a Registered Valuer, probably the first thing to do is to give the valuer a call. Sometimes a simple phone call is all that’s needed for both parties to discuss and resolve any issues. If discussing the issue with the valuer (or a Director of the valuation firm) hasn’t helped, you can go to the “Concern/Complaint” page on the New Zealand Institute of Valuers website ( and that page will provide you with various options.

  • How accurate are ‘free’ online valuations?

    A free online valuation is not a true valuation and is simply a computer generated estimate or a value range. Such an estimate or value range does not take account of any special attributes (or detriments) that a property may have and that would be identified by a Registered Valuer during an inspection. The estimate can be markedly different to the true market value and a value range can be wide. Both can be potentially misguiding. With a Register Valuer there is one figure, something far more transparent, reliable and empowering to those relying on it. While lending institutions may rely on such automated valuation/estimate models their needs differ from someone looking to buy, sell or make a truly informed decision about a property. Indeed a February 2018 survey revealed that only 3% of respondents most trusted an on-line estimate. A Registered Valuer was the most trusted.

  • What does a Residential Valuer do?

    A Residential Valuer offers independent, unbiased property advice, predominantly in the form of what is known as a Registered Valuation. Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a “registered” Valuation, there is however a valuation completed by a Registered Valuer. In completing a residential valuation a Registered Valuer must adhere to internationally set and recognised practice standards, all the while adhering to a Code of Ethics. Initially the Valuer inspects the subject property. The Valuer focuses on two aspects, firstly the land and secondly the improvements on it. The Valuer takes notes, measurements and photographs in detail in order to gain a full appreciation of the property. This done, the Valuer then typically analyses various other property sales comparing them against the subject property using their in-depth knowledge of the market to determine a market value.

  • What are the methods of Residential Valuation?

    There are three valuation approaches that a Valuer can adopt. These are the Market, Income and Cost approaches. Having inspected the property the valuer will determine the most appropriate approach to adopt, using a second approach as a check. The Market Approach, the most common approach for a residential valuation, involves comparing the property against others that have sold coupled with the Valuer’s knowledge of the current market. Each sale is analysed and compared against the subject property with consideration being given to many aspects such as (but not limited to) age, size, condition, location, the land etc. Some will be better than the subject, some not as good with the value of the subject lying in between. The Income Approach looks to the income stream/potential of the property and is often adopted for the likes of a block of residential investment flats. The Cost Approach considers the current replacement cost then allows for physical depreciation, obsolescence and saleability.

  • What is the specific law pertaining to Registered Valuers?

    The primary law relating to valuations performed by a Registered Valuer is contained in the Valuers Act 1948. The Valuers Act refers to the Code of Ethics and Rules of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers, to which all Registered Valuers in New Zealand must belong. The Act also refers to the disciplinary process in a formal complaint against a Registered Valuer, by operation of the Valuers Registration Board.

  • Do I need a Valuation if I buy or sell a house?

    Possibly. Some purchasers may require a valuation as part of their mortgage application in which case the bank often initiates the valuation process through a panel using approved Registered Valuers. This is still at the purchaser’s expense. Prudent purchasers and sellers obtain a valuation from a Registered Valuer to ensure they truly know a properties worth. This assists in determining either what to pay or sell a property for and have confidence in doing so. The valuation could potentially save a purchaser or seller many times its cost. Again a February 2018 poll confirmed that a Registered Valuer was the most trusted professional - 62% of all respondents said they would most trust a Registered Valuer. The next most trusted source was down at 20%.

  • How do I arrange a Residential Valuation?

    Some banks may arrange this for you at your expense if the valuation is for mortgage purposes. Otherwise you a free to choose a local Registered Valuer and it is as simple as picking up the telephone or requesting one via a Registered Valuer’s web-site. Registered Valuers can be found in the local telephone directory, many have their own web-sites, by word of mouth or on the Property Institute of New Zealand’s web site. Land Information New Zealand also holds a register of all currently Registered Valuers.

  • Can I have input into the Valuation process?

    The valuation process is an impartial and independent assessment of a property’s value. Certainly a client can be present during an inspection for the purpose of showing a Registered Valuer through the property and providing information about it. However, the Registered Valuers assessment is without fear or favour and any underlying circumstances behind the valuation request would not sway their thinking. A Registered Valuer will only ever have one figure, regardless of the reason behind the need for a valuation.

  • What is a Rating Valuation and how accurate is it?

    A rating valuation is a three-yearly assessment of a property’s value in relation to the market at a specific point in time. It is determined solely for the purpose of enabling local bodies to set rates. These assessments of value are typically computer generated using known legal and physical details of properties together with an analysis of the market in terms of recent sales and trends. Typically properties are not internally inspected and some are only inspected at the roadside. With no on-site or internal inspection any upgrades and significant renovations or improvements (and conversely deterioration) is not taken account of and would not be reflected in the new rating value. Owners do have the ability to object to their new rateable values but only for a limited period of time. A new rating valuation may not truly reflect the market value of a property. Even if it does, a changing market will see it become out of date. Historically some have looked to rating valuations as a guide for market value however this is becoming far less common. To ensure an accurate assessment of a property’s value a valuation should be completed by a Registered Valuer.