Property valuation: a science or an art?

Price, value, worth and why they are three different things

LAST UPDATED: 22 Jun, 2016 @ 14:05
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home-for-sale-sign“How much is that house worth?” “What’s its value?” “What price should I ask?”

These three things are not the same, yet as a valuer I have to consider them every day.

Price is the easy one as that can be any number thought up by the seller, but has to relate to other similar properties if there is to be success.

Value is quantifying the usefulness or individual desirability of a property.

Everybody is different in their attitude or reasons for wanting something and in their opinion of a property’s assets. That’s what we, as valuers, have to gauge and interpret in euros, ‘where the parties had acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion’.

Worth tends to be a comparison with what else the euros could be spent on. Or even what will or will not happen if the property is not bought.

If, in a husband and wife partnership one is determined that they WANT that property, its worth in ‘life worth living’ terms dictates that the property has a high value to the other individual who may be negotiating its purchase.

All relate to comparing things to others and matching the comparisons. Putting a price on that is down to a valuer’s training, experience and skill.

It’s why we were told right at the beginning of training that valuation is part science, part art. Both take time and experience to understand.

A valuer can never have too much information and needs an ear to the ground to know how the people who make up the market are thinking. It’s what makes professional life interesting.



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Campbell Ferguson, FRICS, working from Estepona since 2001 plus three years in Madrid, is at the heart of the Survey Spain Network, which links 15 RICS qualified chartered surveyors located all round Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands. Tel: 34 952 923 520 Fax: 34 951 239 216 Email: [email protected] From UK Direct: 0870 800 3520

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  1. In other words, you haven’t got a clue. How ridiculous to even speculate on this subject when Spain in particular and the EU in general are in total flux.

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