Getting a property valuation is crucial when buying or selling a home. But should you go for the convenience of an online valuation or invest time in an in-person inspection and appraisal? Here we examine the key pros and cons of each approach.
Online Property Valuations
Online valuations use property data and algorithms to estimate a property’s value without visiting the site.
- Fast and convenient – get an indicative value instantly online
- Low cost – online valuations are usually free or low cost
- Help guide expectations – useful for preliminary price research
- Less accurate – lacks local on-site inspection of property features
- Automated – lacks human judgement and analysis
- Can’t assess renovations/improvements – relies on basic property data
A qualified local valuer will physically inspect your property and surrounding comparables.
- Highly accurate valuation – inspects all details of property live
- Local expertise – draws on in-depth area knowledge
- Assesses renovations – factors work/improvements into valuation
- Experienced judgement – sophisticated valuation analysis
- More time intensive – requires appointment and property visit
- Higher cost – expect to pay $200-$400+ for valuation
- Availability – may need to book well in advance
Which is Best?
For a preliminary estimate, online valuations offer speed and convenience. But for an official valuation when transacting, an in-person inspection delivers greater accuracy, insight and confidence.
While more intensive, a human valuer can best assess the true value of your unique property based on first-hand analysis. This is strongly advised before committing to any final real estate decision.
In summary, online valuation tools serve an early guidance purpose well, but when it comes time to sell or buy, invest in a professional in-person valuation for reliable accuracy.