Contact Call us

Explainer Guide: Types of Mortgage Valuations

Lady on iPad, viewing the explainers guide to the mortgage valuations.

There is no shortage of information that homebuyers get bombarded with when it comes to buying a property, but some things are a given.

If you’re a homebuyer relying on finance to purchase a property, without a doubt the property will need to be valued by the lender before completing your purchase.

Summarised below are the main types of valuation methods a lender will rely on for residential mortgage purposes.

Contract for sale

Also referred to as a COS assessment. This type of assessment only relates to purchase transactions. Its application is restricted to certain property types and locations. It relies on validation of an executed Contract of Sale and a transaction being conducted at arms-length. This assessment has no valuer input.   


An AVM is also known as an Automated Valuation Model. Essentially, it is a computer generated estimate of the value of a property. The estimate attempts to mirror the full valuation process by referencing property attribute data and comparable sales. It usually comes with a confidence score which is an indicator of sorts on the level of accuracy of the estimate. This assessment has no valuer input.

Desktop estimate

Sometimes referred to as an electronic valuation, a desktop assessment is produced by a licenced valuer. The valuer will reference property attributes, comparable sales evidence and photo evidence of a property in order to arrive at their estimate of value. No internal or external inspection of the property is carried out, but it does rely on a licenced valuer referencing their local knowledge to derive their estimate of value.

Kerbside assessment

This type of value assessment is also referred to as a drive-by and is delivered as a value range. It relies on a licenced valuer externally inspecting a property and using comparable sales to estimate the value of a property. Unless otherwise known, the valuer assumes the external condition of the property is reflective of the interior and must reference their local knowledge to arrive at their estimate.

Short-form valuation

This type of valuation assessment is perhaps the most common. It relies on a licenced valuer carrying out an internal and external inspection of a property. The valuer will consider the condition of the property, overall market conditions and recent comparable sales evidence to determine the value of a property. The value figure is expressed as a single figure on an industry endorsed report template.

Long-form valuation

This is the most detailed valuation assessment used for mortgage purposes and tends to be used for complex, unique or high value properties. Like with a short-form valuation, the property will by physically inspected by a licenced valuer. After the inspection the valuer will compile a thorough and extensive individualised report for the lender. The valuer will express their opinion of value as a single figure.

Every lender will have a slightly different approach to what valuation is used, but hopefully this guide helps explain the main mortgage valuation assessment types buyers can expect when purchasing a property.

If you’re a home buyer actively looking to buy a property and would like more information on what’s involved as part of the process you might also like 3 Ways to Avoid Getting Caught Out by Real Estate Underquoting.


Shelley Horton is the founder of Sydney based exclusive buyers agency Albion Avenue. With a 20 year career honing her skills in every aspect of the property industry Shelley knows what makes a property worth buying and how to get the best deal.

What Apartment Buyers Need To Know

By shelley May 28, 2019

As Australia’s population continues to expand most of us still tend to gravitate to our main capital cities such as…

3 Things Buyers Can Learn From Attending An Auction

By Albion Avenue March 27, 2019

The atmosphere created when a property is auctioned is often tense and exciting. The sense of urgency generated throughout the…