It’s a question every home seller wants to know. There are individual factors in each home that determine how much you should expect it to sell for. But with so many places to get an estimate, how can you tell which one is right? A valuer? A buyer? A real estate agent? Online estimates?
Always remember that no matter which one you engage you’ll want to see evidence of their reasoning for the number they provide.
According to the Australian Property Institute, an Australian Property Institute Certified Practising Valuer is a person who, by education, training and experience is qualified to perform a valuation of real property. An experienced and competent valuer will have a fair understanding and knowledge of a particular area and will start by searching for
completed sales of comparable properties. With constantly fluctuating market conditions, these sales need to be recent transactions and preferably within the past six months.
Top tips if you are engaging a valuer
• Presentation: Make sure the gardens are looking nice and the clutter throughout the house is cleaned up and all that sort of thing. Because first impressions, even with property valuers, do count.
• Recent Sales Evidence: If you know the sale prices achieved at any recent property sales in your area, have that information available for the property valuer.
• Clear Instructions: If you have plans for future improvements with quotes and costings, make sure if you’re going through a lender that the lender requests an ‘as if complete’ valuation.
• Don’t overcapitalize: Obviously improvements and renovations add value. But you’ve got to be careful about overcapitalizing and not spending more on a particular improvement than that particular area can cope with.
• Be Honest: Some might claim that a neighbouring property recently sold for $500,000 but the valuer might have evidence that it only sold for $450,000. A valuer will see right through it.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents provide what is known as an ‘appraisal’, rather than a valuation. They base their appraisals on other sales in the area and their experience. Remember, real estate agents are working for the seller (which could be you) who pays the commission on the price they achieve, not the official valuation. Local agents will also have an extremely intimate knowledge of the area, as well as the type of buyers and any current changes in interest. This will put you in good stead.
Online Valuations and Reports
Online valuation methods have become more and more accessible to home sellers today and are often the first place they go for a quick and easy report. While these valuations can provide useful general information, remember that no one has walked through the property and factors that make it comparable or not comparable may be lost.
What’s the difference? A professional valuation is based on market analysis and doesn’t tell you how much someone might be interested in your home. Using this method alone to decide how much your property should be priced when it hits the market could effect the potential selling price of your property.
However, agent appraisals can also differ depending on who you speak to and what selling price they think can be obtained for you if they were your agent. So relying on just one agent appraisal can be of equal disadvantage.