Residential property development

Residential Property Valuations – All You Need to Know | Frequently Asked Questions

A residential property valuation is an assessment conducted by a certified professional to determine the current market value or replacement cost of a residential property. This valuation considers various factors such as the property’s location, size, condition, comparable sales in the area, and specific features to estimate its worth. It serves as a crucial tool for homeowners, buyers, sellers, and financial institutions, providing an accurate estimation of a property’s value for purposes like buying, selling, refinancing, taxation, insurance, or legal matters.

Below we answer some of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding residential property valuations.

Should you have questions, email us at and let’s explore the best approach for your unique situation.

Residential property valuations - Frequently asked questions

Why do I need a residential property valuation?

While there are various reasons to obtain a valuation report for your house or flat, three primary scenarios stand out.

  • Property Insurance: Protecting Your Home with Accurate Data

When insuring a house or a sectional title property, it is important to determine the replacement cost of the building or a flat as well as its contents in case of a total loss or major damage. A property insurance valuation report provides a professional estimate of this replacement cost, ensuring adequate insurance coverage commensurate with the property's actual value.

Learn more about our offer: Building Insurance Valuations
Read more: Why it is wrong to insure the market value of your house
Read more: Market value and replacement cost – not the same thing!

  • Buying and Selling: Navigating the Property Market with Confidence

When purchasing or selling a property, a professional market price valuation report serves as a reliable guide to the property's market value. While a generic property available online may provide a benchmark for setting an asking price for sellers and buyers, a professional survey is crucial for negotiating a fair deal and protecting both parties' interests.

Learn more about our offer: Residential Property Valuations
Read more: How can I determine the value of my property?

  • Municipal Rates Disputes: Standing Your Ground with Evidence

Homeowners are legally allowed to challenge their municipal property taxes by submitting a professional market price valuation report. This report acts as evidence to support their claim that their property's assessed value is higher than its actual market value. By obtaining a valuation report, homeowners can potentially reduce their property tax burden.
In summary, a residential property valuation report serves as a valuable tool for homeowners, providing clarity and security in various real estate matters.

Learn more about our offer: Municipal Rates Check
Read more: How to object to your municipal property valuation

Whether ensuring adequate insurance coverage, setting realistic selling or purchase prices, or contesting municipal property taxes, a property valuation report is an essential step in making informed decisions that impact a homeowner's financial well-being.

What other purposes can market price valuations serve?

A market price valuation is useful in the following instances:

  • appropriating a deceased estate
  • determining fair compensation for land expropriation under the Land Restitution Act
  • dealing with legal settlements, e.g. divorce cases
  • contesting municipal rates and taxes
  • submitting tax declarations
  • establishing an auction reserve price
  • preparing a corporate take-over or merger
  • winding up an insolvency

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Who conducts residential property valuations?

Certified property valuers, often registered with professional bodies, conduct residential insurance and market price property valuations. Professional valuers possess expertise and experience in property valuations. They use standardised methods and have access to current market data, enabling them to provide an accurate estimation of your property's value. Their knowledge helps in considering various factors that influence property prices, ensuring a more precise valuation.

Read more: Our surveyors

What factors influence the market price value of a property?

Determining the market value of a residential property is a complex process that involves a comprehensive evaluation of various factors, which can be broadly categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic elements, play a crucial role in shaping the property's estimated worth.

On the intrinsic side, we have the property's physical attributes, including size, layout, condition, architectural style, and unique features. The quality of the finishes, the presence of amenities like pools or gardens, and the overall livability of the space all contribute to its value.
Extrinsic factors, on the other hand, delve into the external environment surrounding the property. These include the neighborhood's reputation, accessibility, proximity to amenities, transportation links, and proximity to schools, hospitals, and employment hubs. These factors influence a property's desirability and ultimately its market price.

At Mirfin Property Valuations, we understand the intricate interplay of these factors and the impact they have on property values. Our experienced valuers are well-equipped to conduct thorough assessments, considering both intrinsic and extrinsic elements, to provide you with an accurate market valuation for your residential property.
Want to dive into the residential property valuation process, read our posts
Read more: How we assess a building’s replacement cost
Read more: How can I determine the value of my property?

How does a professional valuation help to speed up the sales process?

Why does it take so Long to sell a house?

Properties which are over-priced will take a long time to sell, if at all. It has been proven time and again that properties which remain unsold for a long period of time will eventually become stigmatised in the sense that potential buyers might become suspicious of the property, which may well result in a sale below market value.
A property priced on the strength of a Mirfin valuation will attract notably less buyer resistance, if any at all. This means that the time span between marketing and obtaining a signed "offer to purchase'' will be reduced considerably.

How does a professional valuation improve my negotiating position?

With a Mirfin valuation in hand, you, the seller, will have the peace of mind to grant a sole mandate to your preferred estate agent and strengthen your negotiating leverage with the estate agent. It puts you in charge! A professional property market price valuation is an affordable and very feasible instrument to put your estate agent to the test by asking them to support their sales promises with a professional valuation.

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What does a professional market price valuation entail?

A standard market price valuation by Mirfin includes the following elements, as appropriate for the subject property and purpose of valuation:

  • Executive summary
  • Property details
  • Description of property
  • Description of buildings
  • Risk & maintenance observations
  • Cost calculation
  • Analysis of comparable sales
  • Analysis of comparable rentals
  • Calculation of income capitalisation
  • Photographs of the property
  • Supporting documents (e.g. map of macro-location, micro-location, building plans, diagrams, title deed information etc.)
  • Explanatory information (glossary, valuation methods etc.)

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What is a desktop valuation?

Desktop property valuations serve specific purposes in real estate assessment, particularly when immediate access or time constraints are key for residential property owners.

In stable, consistent markets, historical data used in a desktop valuation can be sufficient. However, in rapidly changing markets, such valuations might not reflect the property's current value accurately.

For unfinished properties, relying solely on a desktop valuation, without a physical inspection, is ill-advised as it may not encapsulate these evolving spaces.
It's important to dispel the misconception that a desktop valuation implies inferior quality. Rather, it emphasizes the necessity of choosing the appropriate tool for specific property and market conditions.

Choosing the appropriate valuation method often depends on the distinct characteristics or specific attributes of your property. Curious to delve deeper into your property's valuation? Get in touch to navigate your property's evaluation journey together.

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Does Mirfin offer discounted rates for remote (“desktop”) valuations?

Yes, Mirfin offers a significant price reduction on so-called “desktop” valuations where the property is inaccessible, a rough indication of market value will suffice, or when cost is a major concern. It must be noted that a “desktop” valuation is unable to take into account certain factors which may affect the market value, such as the state of repair, environmental concerns etc. Therefore, Mirfin cannot be held liable for any claims arising out of a “desktop” service due to incorrect or absent information which would have otherwise been available to the valuer, had a physical on-site inspection been performed.

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How often should I get my house appraised?

South African laws don't lay out precise schedules for updating your property valuation reports. It's your call whether to opt for a basic (desktop) market price valuation or a detailed survey establishing your house or flat's replacement cost, encompassing its contents.

A good practice is to obtain a property market price report if you're planning to sell or buy a property. For insurance purposes, we advise ensuring your replacement cost valuation report is refreshed at least every five years.

Read more: Why it is wrong to insure the market value of your house

Read more: Market value and replacement cost – not the same thing!

What is Mirfin’s “Low-Price Guarantee”?

We pledge to beat any price for the same service offering. However, in the event of a reduced fee, Mirfin’s professional liability will be adjusted to that of its direct competitor.
But why put yourself personally at risk for the sake of saving the body corporate a few hundred rand?

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Why choose Mirfin for your property valuation?

Best price guarantee

We will beat any price for the same service offering.

20 years

We are industry pioneers and industry leaders for over 20 years.

600 000 + clients

We’re a South African nationwide property valuation services provider for homeowners, property managers, insurers, brokers & attorneys.

One-click quotations

No time for filling in forms? Just click the button for an instant quote and share it with your clients.

98% service coverage

Our surveyors are situated in the densely populated areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, East London and Mossel Bay.

17% extra discount

Save on average 17% in premiums for your insurance broker with Mirfin’s property insurance valuation report .

Related posts

How can I determine the value of my property?

Property value | How to determine my property value
In this article, we explain the concept of a property valuation, the various categories of property appraisals available, including market price valuations, replacement cost valuations, sectional title insurance valuations and content valuations. We also provide insights into various methods of property valuations and offer guidance on obtaining a trustworthy and accurate property appraisal.

How to object to your municipal property valuation

If you believe the municipal valuer has over-valued your property, you should contest this; if justified, the valuer will be amended. If an objection is not lodged during the advertised objection period there is little prospect of having the municipal valuation amended, barring special circumstances.

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