When it comes to selling or buying a home, you’ll likely come across both property valuers and real estate agents. But what exactly do these professionals do, and how do their roles differ? This article will compare and contrast these two important positions.
Key Differences Between Property Valuers and Real Estate Agents
While valuers and agents often work closely together, their responsibilities don’t completely overlap. Here are some of the key differences:
Valuation vs Marketing
A property valuer focuses on determining the fair market value of a home through comparative analysis of similar properties. Their job is to provide an unbiased estimate of value.
Meanwhile, a real estate agent is responsible for marketing and facilitating the sale of a property for an agreed-upon listing price. Their goal is to secure a buyer.
Objective Analysis vs Subjective Pricing
Valuers aim to eliminate personal bias through objective analysis of all factors that influence value. Their process relies on appraisal science and standardised techniques.
Agents collaborate with sellers to set an optimal listing price, using comps but also considering things like desired profit, how quickly the seller wants to sell, and even psychological pricing strategies.
Infrequent vs Ongoing Interactions
You’ll likely only interact with a valuer a handful of times to assess your property. But you may be in contact with your agent regularly over a period of months during the selling process.
Work for Client vs Agent for Seller
A valuer works for the client who ordered and paid for the valuation report. They don’t represent the interests of the home seller or buyer.
Real estate agents establish legal relationships with clients through representation agreements. They act on behalf of and are loyal to the seller.
Flat Fee vs Commission
Valuers charge a fixed fee for their services, based on factors like property type, location, and complexity. Typical fees range from $200-$1000.
Agents earn commission as a percentage of the home’s selling price, often 5-6%. Their total earnings depend on their sales volume.
When You Need Both Professionals
Most home buyers and sellers will utilise both a property valuer and real estate agent at some point in the transaction process.
Sellers will generally get an initial valuation to set expectations before listing with an agent. Buyers may get independent valuations to assess if a property is fairly priced.
Lenders also require valuations to approve mortgages, so both parties will end up getting an appraisal. This provides an objective benchmark against the agreed sales price.
Understanding these key differences allows you to better evaluate when to hire each professional and what to expect from them. While their roles overlap, valuers and agents serve distinct purposes.