If you're looking to buy or sell a house, the two most reliable ways to establish what your house is worth are by getting a free licensed real estate agent appraisal or a professional market valuation.

Either way, establishing an accurate value of what your house is worth to sell requires conducting full inspections of your whole property.

Both options are covered by governing body standards which exist to protect you. These bodies include the NZ Institute of Valuers, NZ Property Institute, the Real Estate Institute of NZ and the Real Estate Authority.

No other source of property valuations, particularly online, can be solely relied on for selling a house, so be cautious. Cheap home valuations can be very expensive in the end.

The two valuation options we recommend are either a Licensed Real Estate Agent's market appraisal which is free, or a full valuation done by a Registered Valuer which can cost upward of around $700 but can be worth their weight in gold.

If your property is in Auckland, and has been rezoned for development, it may be worth more than you realise. Find out more below.


A Real Estate Appraisal is also termed a 'Comparative Market Appraisal' (CMA). This involves a detailed inspection of your whole property and an analysis of comparable, recent property sales in the area, or houses currently for sale.

Real Estate Agents will then apply their local knowledge and expertise to prepare your market appraisal. However, real estate agents are not all equal in their standards so many people use a vetted real estate agent to be sure of their reliability. 

Your Real Estate Appraisal should include:

  • A recommended value for marketing your property for sale
  • Commentary about the property including improvements or features that are affecting the value
  • A list of comparable recent sales in the area, including descriptions and photos of the properties that were used in assessing your property
  • Recommendations about which method of sale will most likely achieve your best sale price in the current market
  • A marketing strategy, recommendations for advertising platforms and what they cost
  • How the real estate agent and their agency will best serve you and how much real estate commission they will charge you.

Comparative Market Appraisals must be in writing, no exceptions. If you received a market appraisal more than three months ago, real estate agents are required to provide a new one and pay particular attention to what properties are being used for comparable sales.

To help you through the cost of selling a house, you will find this advice about negotiating real estate commission and fees.

If a free real estate appraisal is what you need - request a shortlist of vetted real estate agents.


A Full Property Valuation involves a detailed inspection of your house (or any other property type), and an analysis of relevant, recent sales in the area. This should only be conducted by a Registered Valuer.

The valuer will then apply their local knowledge and expertise to prepare a full written report, which will outline the current market value of your house.

Once your property has been assessed and recent sales analysed, your valuation report will include:

  • A Legal Description of the property and any Interests noted on the Title such as easments, covenants etc.
  • Rating valuation, annual rates and a description of the location and locality
  • Land description, zoning and resource management information
  • A description of the property, including commentary on improvements or features that are affecting the value such as other buildings, condition or chattels
  • A list of comparable recent sales in the area, including descriptions and photos of the properties that were used in assessing your property
  • Property market commentary, risk assessment and recommendation of value. 

    Request the database of Registered Valuers in your location here.



When selling an Auckland property, you should consider the impact of the Auckland Unitary Plan changes in zoning rules on the potential sale value of your home. If your home has been rezoned with development potential, you could get a higher sale price due to interest from property developers.

In this case, it is wise to choose a vetted real estate agent who has the experience and connections to get a higher price than you might be expecting. Property developers are likely to pay more because of their deeper pockets and motivation to develop the land for financial gain.

It's a personal decision on the seller's part whether they want to go this route, but can be worth looking into, with a dual marketing campaign directed at both home buyers and property investors.

If you would like to establish whether your property can be developed, find out more here.


One of the main reasons a property doesn't sell is because it was appraised and marketed in the wrong price range - which clearly illustrates the value of using a vetted real estate agent or can justify the cost of a hiring a licensed valuer. A property valuation also gets everyone on the same page.

One of the most disappointing experiences in real estate can be realising your home is not worth as much to sell as you thought. This can be because:

  • you paid more than it was worth when you purchased
  • the market may have dipped or
  • you may have over-capitalised

Some people have an over-inflated idea of the value of their house that is not based on accurate valuation information, but more on emotion. Even in the most competent real estate hands, a wrongly priced property often won't sell.

Having the correct valuation displayed on real estate websites is essential for attracting qualified buyers in your price range. 

Correct valuations also give real estate agents the confidence to negotiate harder with buyers.

There are cheap ways to help add value to your sale price.


Here are a few things to be aware of when getting a valuation estimate of your property's worth for selling purposes:

  • Agents are legally obliged to provide you with a Comparative Market Appraisal (CMA) prior to entering into an agency agreement with you.
  • Be sure that your agent has the expertise and capability to provide accurate information about value - we can help you find a competent real estate agent in your area.
  • The quality and integrity of the CMA has an impact on your whole experience if it's wrong.
  • It is widely known that some real estate agents will be over-optimistic in their appraisal to you, so you will list with them (if it sounds too good to be true, it possibly is)
  • If you decide to get an independent market appraisal from a valuation firm, we can point you to a neutral database of professional valuers.
  • Clients advise that an independent valuation can give them peace of mind when it comes to negotiation time, even if it's not the exact amount in the report.
  • Some 'free market valuation or appraisal' websites can be misleading as these are sites for real estate agents to register with. There is a way to tell!
  • It is recommended that you choose an independent property valuer rather than one recommended by a real estate agent.
  • Don't rely on any property valuations that are not addressed to you personally. If buying a house, you will have no come-back if it's wrong.

    When it comes to establishing how much your house is worth, Contact Us First | Free Phone 0800 789 532

Other popular pages

Article updated April 22, 2021 | About

Make Enquiry › Related Entries Posted in:  selling tips & advice house valuations how to sell a house free real estate service 

Get In Touch


Google Reviews for Agent Finder NZ