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The most reliable way to establish how much your property is worth to sell is to compare 2-3 appraisals prepared by real estate agents who have been vetted and proven competent for you. This is a free service for all New Zealand vendors.

Why? When selling a house, all your decisions will be totally reliant on the accuracy of your real estate appraisal - and appraisal accuracy will depend on the integrity and experience of the real estate agent who prepares it.

Using a real estate agent who has been vetted provides you with a level of assurance, prevents price-reduced advertising and a lot af angst. 

Use the eight tips below to help scrutinise a property appraisal


All home appraisals conducted by real estate agents in New Zealand are provided free, but the standard of these can vary a great deal. Start with finding a real estate agent you can rely on.

Rather than randomly selecting a real estate agent from a flyer or being allocated a 'duty' agent, it is crucial that you are matched with a competent agent for your property type, location and value.

For example, you may be selling a tenanted property or portfolio of properties, downsizing, selling a lifestyle block, a deceased estate held in a Trust, an apartment or if you're in Auckland and your property is zoned for development, these will all require a higher level of knowledge, capability and project management in tight timeframes. 

To find out how much your house is worth to sell in the current market, using a vetted real estate agent proven competent at valuing properties accurately is a safeguard. how to get a free house appraisal

Request a shortlist of 2-3 agents to prepare free house appraisals - then compare them.


A property appraisal provided by a real estate agent is also referred to as a Comparative Market Appraisal (CMA) and although provided free, it can end up very expensive if your property was incorrectly appraised from the start.

Compare the quality of data used to determine the value or price range recommended for marketing and advertising.

You can do this by checking the properties used to compare yours against for establishing value taking into account uniqueness, land size, number of living or bedrooms, garage size and improvements for example.

A commonly used tool is to use our Agent Questionnaire to help guide you through the process of interviewing real estate agents when they present the property appraisal to you. This helps compare both the agents and the real estate agencies objectively and avoids issues commonly encountered.

Ultimately we all want the best sale price and the higher the property valuation recommended by a real estate agent, the more attractive an appraisal will be - watch for unrealistic values - if it sounds too good to be true, it might be.

Due diligence at this point is not to be missed. Call 0800 789 532 - we're here to help.


1.  SCRITINISE INFORMATION QUALITY: Most people head straight for the dollar value in their house appraisal but ensure you scritinise it and check the facts on which it should be based. A real estate agent over-inflating a property value to entice a vendor to list is not uncommon so beware.

2.  METHOD OF SALE HELPS: If the value is not what you expected but is based on reliable information sources, rather than choosing a real estate agent whose appraisal is inflated, the method of sale you choose can help create buyer competition which can help elevate your end result. 

3.  IN WRITING NOT VERBAL: Property appraisals must be provided to you in writing and any recommendations must be backed up by sound data and a property inspection to help you make fully informed decisions. 

4.  COMPETENT REAL ESTATE AGENT: It has been proven that sellers who achieve the best sale prices rely on realistic property appraisals then plan the marketing to aim for an optimal result. Buyers will often pay more for a house they love or have to compete for.

5.  UNDUE PRESSURE: Succumbing to undue pressure by real estate agents often results in disappointment, price reduction pressures, a long drawn out time on the market, or no sale at all. 

6.  GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY: The Real Estate Authority has made 'undue pressure' a conduct issue worthy of complaining about and addressing formally.

7.  DAY ONE: Day one live online is the most important day of your marketing campaign, so having an accurate price range from the get-go is imperative. Find out why here.

8.  BE ON THE ALERT: We recently heard of a real estate agent using comparative sale prices that were listed with their company only, which is not an objective or reliable method of establishing how much your house is worth in our opinion. 

Property sellers are entitled to expect a free property appraisal to be prepared with integrity, accurate data and based upon relevant information in the current property market. It's all part of a licensed real estate agent's responsibility.

If you would like an objective approach to finding an agent, request a free shortlist to compare.

Why is Agent Finder a free service for New Zealand home owners?

Page updated June 2, 2022 by Trish Willis | Member of the Property Institute of NZ (IPAC)

Agent Finder NZ Awards:

  • Best Estate Agent Vetting Service New Zealand 2018
  • Best Property Advice Hub NZ 2021

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