A valuation undertaken by a highly educated, accredited and regulated property professional

A valuation undertaken by a highly educated, accredited and regulated property professional is the best consumer protection for property buyers and sellers (and, by extension, their lenders).

The residential property market is often vulnerable to sales pricing evidence based on emotive, external, self-interested and non factually, nor risk based considerations. It can also involve pre-sale negotiation processes that may be opaque thereby creating confusion for buyers.

With such large amounts of personal capital and mortgage commitments at stake, one of the easiest ways for consumers to protect themselves against property risk decisions, whether buying or selling, is to obtain an independent professionally accredited valuation. Property is ‘the biggest game in town’ . The octopus (so to speak) that incorporates property professionals, valuations, financial services providers, professional indemnity insurers and LMI providers extends across the largest employer, asset and shareholder class in Australia.

This sounds fairly obvious, but surprisingly few Australians understand the difference between a professional valuation and a general, non evidence based, often conflicted market value or appraisal given by a real estate agent or similar sales agents- with the latter being all too prevalent.

Within Australia, the leading authority/industry association for property professionals is the Australian Property Institute (API) and API members operate regionally, nationally and internationally.

To be certified as an API Valuer who is able to complete a Valuation (just 1 membership category), one must be degree qualified and have completed a rigorous period of professional training, post professional interview with reports. In addition, our members certified valuation professionals must complete 20 CPD points of professional development per year.

The Valuer’s role when undertaking a valuation of real property is to provide their professional opinion on what the most likely sale price will be if the property was offered to the market - for sale - as at the day of valuation.

A professional valuation conducted by an API member, considers a multitude of factors, including but not limited to:

· Location

· The structure and condition of a property, including defects and faults

· Amenities and features

· Specific legal considerations, and

· Council zoning.

An API Valuer is accountable for the professional opinion given, which is particularly important for consumers who find themselves managing situations that end in litigation and recovery.

The benefits of a professional valuation are:

· for buyers - an accurate valuation will provide detailed, independent, risk weighted and transparent decision making certainty and;

· for sellers - an accurate valuation will support selling decisions.

You can recognise an API Valuer by looking for certain membership letters combined with certification post nominals. For example look for:

· <name> LFAPI with CPV;

· <name> FAPI with CPV;

· <name> AAPI with CPV, or

· <name> PMAPI with RPV.

As for the fee for a professional valuation, this is based on an agreement between the Valuer and client.

Given the level of accountability that a professional valuation provides, I hope it is now obvious to the reader the very clear benefits of utilising the services of an API Valuer.

Amelia Hodge


Australian Property Institute