When the time comes to sell your house, the logical first step is to figure out what it’s worth.
The market will determine the eventual sale price, of course, but you need an accurate and realistic price expectation in order to take the property to those buyers.
When getting an accurate valuation of your home, there are some important things worth considering.
How much is my house worth?
Property prices are all based on opinion – people will pay what they think a property is worth in the current market.
So don’t limit your potential sale price to the opinion of just one agent, who may or may not have the best insight into your home’s true value.
Ian Reid Vendor Advocates director Ben Reid says agents often have wildly varying ideas about a property’s value, so it’s important to seek multiple estimates.
“It’s amazing the differences when we call in three different agents,” Reid says.
“Even on a property that you’d think would be quite simple to give a value estimate on – a $600,000 property in Dandenong, for example – we can have opinions as low as $520,000 and as high as $670,000. There can legitimately be $150,000 between what are meant to be the three top real estate professionals (in the area).”
“We would get two or three of the best local agents to have a look at the property and we’d ask them to give us an opinion of what they think it’s worth and justify it, based on comparable sales.”
you could also research recent sales of similar properties in your area on realestate.com.au/invest.
How much does a property valuation cost?
Having a licensed, independent valuer assess your property’s value will cost you around $300, and it might be some of the best money you spend.
Reid says agents may inflate their estimates in order to secure your business, so having the property assessed by a licensed valuer is the best way to determine who’s on the money.
“The agent who tells you the lowest price is often the one that misses out on the business, so it’s a really fine line for real estate agents when they’re putting forward their comparable sales and they’re telling the vendor what they think the property’s worth,” he says.
“A valuer’s job is to come through and, based on comparable sales and where the market’s at, give an accurate estimate.”
“They don’t care whether the property’s worth $500,000, $550,000, $600,000 – they’re just there to give us an unbiased, accurate view on what it’s worth,” he says.
Don’t blindly enter into the process. Knowing and researching your own local property market will go a long way to ensuring you are able to make informed decisions throughout the entire campaign.
“Information is key to making sure you’re not going into it ill-informed and not relying on the opinion of just one person,” Reid says.
“Even within the best agents, there can be a varying of opinions.”
Hire a vendor advocate
A vendor advocate will do much of the heavy lifting for you – it’s their job to represent your interests when dealing with agents, and help steer you through the valuation process.
Reid says they’ll approach two or three of the best local agents, as well as an independent valuer, to determine a likely price range for your home, and then present that information to you to help you make your decisions.