Where have all the good men… errr … valuers gone?

More and more valuations aren't representing actual value.

Many years ago as I was beginning my training in property I was told to trust valuers for they had years of experience and thousands of valuations under their belts.

Despite not having the technology that is available today (we didn't even have the internet or email back then — yes I'm that old) they would use their local knowledge and experience and offer a plus or minus 5% valuation.

That's a valuation which meant your property would sell within plus or minus 5% of their estimate. Such was the level of professionalism they commanded, you could all but bank on it and certainly rely on it as the investment research needed to make an investment decision.

For years I looked up to the profession and blindly accepted their counsel.

Well folks… I'm sorry to tell you, but those days are gone.

Valuers have now become subservient to the lenders they work for, running scared of a PI claim (that's professional indemnity).

These days, the same valuer can value the same size plot, same outlook, same floor on 2 different consecutive weeks dropping the value by 10% each time. Or one week, a flat at X then the following week a bigger flat, better position at X less £10,000.

Frankly, these kind of random valuations don't help anyone.

Another property expert I heard about drove two and a half hours from Northhampton to Sheffield just to downvalue a house. He was in an area that he didn't know, a market that he had no idea about and best of all when my contact speaks with the guy he says “No, I wasn't really sure so I just pulled some stuff off Rightmove“.

£395 to pull some stuff off Rightmove?? I could have done that for him.

Now, there is some light amongst all the darkness, Colleys (owned by HBOS) have actually kept a commercial view of things and whilst we don't always agree with their thinking you have to give them credit for their knowledge and understanding of the market.

Unfortunately, these days valuations rarely have anything to do with actual real values

For the most part, they now come down to an individual person (who may or may not know the market), their thoughts on the market (that they may or may not know), which bank they're valuing for (and what their directives are at that point in time), and the valuer's fear of a PI claim.

If you want to know more, or have questions about a valuation you may have recently received, then give the team a call on +44 (0)207 923 6100 or on their mobiles.

Live with passion,
Brett Alegre-Wood

Brett Alegre-Wood
June 1, 2011

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