Whozoo tips #18 - What is the difference between a valuation from a professional valuer and a valuation from a commercial estate agent?

Published: 20/01/2024

The valuation of a commercial property in the UK can be carried out by both professional valuers and commercial estate agents, each with distinct approaches and purposes. Here are the key differences between a professional valuer and a commercial estate agent when it comes to property valuation:

Professional Valuer 

Qualifications and Regulation:
A professional valuer is typically a qualified surveyor who specializes in property valuation. They may hold professional qualifications such as those conferred by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in the UK. Professional valuers adhere to strict ethical and regulatory standards.

Objective and Unbiased
•Professional valuers strive to provide an objective and unbiased assessment of the property's value. Their valuation is based on a thorough analysis of factors such as market conditions, comparable sales, property characteristics, and potential income for income-generating properties.

Formal Valuation Reports:

•Valuations conducted by professional valuers often result in formal valuation reports. These reports are comprehensive documents that provide detailed information on the valuation methodology, assumptions, and the final estimated value of the property.

Expertise in Various Property Types:
•Professional valuers have expertise in valuing various types of properties, including commercial, residential, and industrial. They are equipped to handle complex valuation assignments and are often engaged for purposes such as financial reporting, taxation, and legal matters.

Compliance with Standards:

•Professional valuers follow established standards and guidelines for property valuation, ensuring consistency and transparency in their methodology. Compliance with these standards is crucial, especially in contexts such as financial reporting or legal proceedings.

Commercial Estate Agent

Transaction Focus:
•Commercial estate agents primarily focus on facilitating property transactions, including sales, leases, and purchases. While they may have an understanding of property values, their main emphasis is on marketing properties and negotiating deals.

Market Knowledge:
Commercial estate agents have local market knowledge and insights into current market conditions. They use this knowledge to assist property owners in setting realistic asking prices and to advise potential buyers on market trends.

Marketing and Sales Expertise:
•Commercial estate agents leverage their marketing and sales expertise to showcase properties effectively. Their goal is to attract potential buyers and negotiate favorable terms for their clients. Property valuation is often a component of their overall service.

Commission-Based Compensation:
Commercial estate agents typically earn a commission based on the successful completion of a property transaction. While they may provide informal property valuations to assist with setting listing prices, their primary focus is on facilitating deals rather than conducting formal valuations.

Considerations for Property Owners 

Purpose of Valuation: 
Consider the purpose of the property valuation. If the valuation is needed for legal, financial reporting, or taxation purposes, engaging a professional valuer with relevant qualifications and experience is advisable.

Nature of the Property:
•The complexity and uniqueness of the property may influence your choice. For standard commercial properties, a commercial estate agent may provide a suitable valuation. For more complex or specialized properties, a professional valuer's expertise may be necessary.

Regulatory Requirements:

•If the property valuation is required for regulatory compliance, legal proceedings, or financial reporting, ensure that the chosen valuer adheres to recognized standards and regulations.

Engaging Both Professionals:
•In some cases, property owners may choose to engage both a professional valuer and a commercial estate agent. This approach can provide a comprehensive understanding of the property's value and market potential.It's important to communicate your specific needs and objectives clearly when seeking a property valuation. Whether you choose a professional valuer or a commercial estate agent, their expertise and focus areas should align with your requirements and the intended use of the valuation.