When you apply or a home loan your lender will send out an independent valuer to judge the value of the property you wish to buy. This bank valuation is a conservative estimate because the bank is concerned with lending you money they can't get back if you're unable to pay. Their valuation assumes they may need to sell the property to recover losses. A market valuation is an estimation of a property's value on the real estate market. This is the valuation a buyer or seller needs to focus on.
Higher than a bank valuation. A market valuation assumes the seller wants the best price possible and isn't as desperate to sell as a bank. This is generally true, as a seller is motivated to try and get the best price on their home, even if it means waiting longer.
Takes the property market into account. A market valuation gauges the value of a property at a particular moment in time. It's more sensitive to the fluctuations of the property market.
More useful to buyers and sellers. Unlike a bank valuation, a market valuation is designed to help you make a decision how much to buy or sell a property for by comparing to other, similar property sales.
Lower than market valuations. The bank is estimating the price it would get for the property if sold in the event the buyer can't make repayments. Unlike a private seller the bank is motivated by the urgency of selling a property to recoup their potential losses.
Selling costs. The lender also has to factor in such selling costs as real estate commission, legal fees and other costs.
More useful to the bank. A bank valuation isn't really for a buyer at all. It's for the lender. They may not even choose to share the valuation with you.
What is a bank valuation used for?
The bank has to ensure that your home loan does not exceed the property value. This is because the home becomes the collateral for a home loan. For the lender, if there are complications with the loan and the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender might have to resell the property to recoup the amount of the loan.
If you forfeit repayment of the loan, the lender will quickly sell the home in order to avoid accruing interests over a long period of time. It is unfortunate, though, that the home may have to be sold at a lower price with the evident time limitations.
The bank does not always tell the borrower what the final valuation is. Bank valuations are done in order to work out the amount of money that you can responsibly pay back. The bank will sometimes use a number less than the home's market value and this is used for internal data to guide the lender and not necessarily to hide anything from the borrower.
If the bank valuation comes in too low, you may have trouble borrowing amount you've applied for. This can cause serious problems when purchasing a home. You may need to find more money from somewhere else or your loan application may be rejected entirely.
There are a few avenues of redress, however:
Dispute the original valuation: You can dispute the valuer's original findings by providing evidence of sales of similar homes in the area. A warning, however: many valuers are unlikely to change their original valuation.
Request a valuation from a different valuer: You can ask that the bank use another valuer on its panel to perform a valuation. Most lenders will use more than one valuation firm, and a different valuer might provide a different result.
Cover the shortfall from somewhere else: If a new valuation fails to resolve the problem, you might have to look elsewhere to secure funds to cover the shortfall, whether it's borrowing from a family member or securing a personal loan.
Don's valuation nightmare
Don heads to an auction and is the winning bidder for a two-bedroom unit, with a bid of $750,000. He pays a 20% deposit of $150,000, along with stamp duty fees. He is pre-approved for finance at 80% LVR.
Before settlement, Don's bank sends a valuer to the home. The valuation comes back at $650,000, meaning the bank will only lend Don a maximum of $520,000, leaving Don $80,000 short.
Don requests a second valuation with similar results. He is now left to either borrow the $80,000 from his family, or try to secure a personal loan.
How to find out your home's market value
To find out your property's market value, you should speak to a qualified valuation service and request an experienced valuer to come to your property.
A bank valuation serves as an internal regulatory and cautionary tool for lenders that reflects what reasonable amount can be recovered should it be necessary to reclaim and sell the property in a distressed state. This is the reason why the valuation price has to be lower than the market value. A bank valuation also protects the bank from risks. The market value is simply what the home is being sold for - at a particular time and in a specific market.
For more information about bank valuations and to get advice on the process during your property purchase, it maybe a good idea to seek the services of a qualified mortgage broker. Brokers can help you find the right home loan, with part of the process including education and information regarding your valuation. You can compare qualified and accredited brokers.
Compare home loans with free valuations
There are a range of home loans with free property valuations. You can compare them below using the table. Click on the table headings to sort through loans according to interest rates, maximum LVR and fees. If you want to find out more about a loan click 'More info' and if you want to lodge an enquiry for a home loan click 'Go to Site'.
Marc Terrano is the lead publisher of Points Finder and a co-host of the Pocket Money podcast. He was previously a writer and publisher for home loans at Finder. Marc has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology Sydney. He’s passionate about creating honest and simple reviews and comparisons to help Australians get the best value for their money.
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