Valuation Discrepancies

I have three cases in mind. No names.

  • A house with an estimated value of £180k. Buy-to-let. Valuer one said £180,000 but assessed the rental income at £150 less than my client was actually receiving. Hence the second valuer. Valuer two said £118,000. That’s a difference of 33 per cent on valuer one. Or a difference of 50 per cent depending upon the point of view you take.
  • New-build property in Cheshire. Three identical properties, two valued at £157,000, the third (my clients next purchase) valued at £145,000.
  • An older property on the market at £97,000, with a sale agreed to my clients. Valuer says £92,000. There’s a sale going through on another on the same street at £107,000.
These valuers are all called ‘professional’. How can two, highly trained and knowledgeable ‘professionals’ be 50 per cent apart in the valuation of the house in case one above?

I have always thought that the value of any article is ‘the price that another person is willing to pay for it in an open market situation’.

We all know, only too well, the trouble the above situations cause, and how challenging a valuers assessment is like Mission Impossible (cue music). Little wonder we have such a low opinion of them.

Has anyone got a formula for successfully challenging valuers? Should they be as transparent as the rest of us? Should there a mechanism for public execution or flogging of the valuers in scenario one? Now add these scenarios to the Home Information Packs (HIPs) dabate. Oh what fun we shall have.

Geoff Goult

Remortgage Advice and Solutions