How to find out what your property is really worth

Jan 25, 2020
Online tools can be used to determine the value of a property with no charge. Source: Getty

If you’ve been contemplating selling your home, you’re probably wondering what it’s worth, or rather, how much someone will be willing to pay for it. While it might hold significant value to you in terms of memories and sentimentality, its value on the market might not be quite as strong.

There are a number of ways to find out what sort of return you can expect when it comes time to list your property, and while it may seem overwhelming at first, knowing what you’re dealing with can make the process more successful. Put simply, the value of a property comes down to what someone is will to pay for it.

“One must always be mindful that a valuation is a subjective figure from one individual in respect to what something would be worth if taken to the open market,” Simon Pressley, head of research at Propertyology said.

But it’s important to note that a property’s value changes over time, rather than being reflective of its last sale price. Things like whether the property has been renovated or if the location has become more desirable all affect its market value.

“The best way to appraise a property is to get the biggest body of evidence of comparable properties that have recently sold and are currently on the market,” Pressley says.  “Allowances then need to be made for things like the quality of the internal, size of rooms, extra bathrooms, and each individual street.”

Consult a professional

A real estate professional will be able to give you an accurate, detailed appraisal and valuation. Valuers use detailed property data along with their wealth of experience and industry knowledge to make accurate value assessments that are specific to your property.

A professional valuation is different to an appraisal from a real estate agent, as a valuer’s report can make a serious impact on your home loan application, whether you’re buying or refinancing. Banks and other lenders use professional valuations to make sure they don’t accidentally lend you more money than your property is worth, which could risk leaving the lender out of pocket.

Online tools

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can determine the value of your property online. It’s faster than going through a professional and free. There are various online tools and apps that can give you an estimate of your property’s value, using past sales data, recent sales in the area and other general market trends.

For a more detailed report, there are various subscription services available for a small fee. But bear in mind that these calculations are just an estimate and won’t always be accurate when it comes time to sell.

As for how you can influence the value of your property, Pressley has some sage advice.

“While there will always be plenty of people to tell you otherwise, adding value isn’t easy,” he says. “In a lot of cases, every one thousand dollars spent may only add comparable value so the net result is neutral. The best value-for-money value adds are often simple things like a fresh coat of paint, fresh floor coverings, taps, and light fittings, bathroom and kitchen tiles.”

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