Why do you need an accurate idea of the value of your home?
Thanks to the availability of property and market data, such as Price Estimate tools and demographic data, buyers have never been more knowledgeable of the market as well as shrewd in how they find properties. Pricing your home to sell in an accurate way is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have available to you, as an accurate price range hones in on the very people you want to attract. As affordability continues to remain a challenge for many buyers, there is a large incentive for buyers to waste as little time (and money) as possible when finding properties for sale.
Your first steps in pricing your home to sell
First off, do all the things you can affordably do to maximise your property value in relation to the expense of such repairs. For instance, cosmetic repairs and renovations, new lighting solutions and landscaping.
As you do these various repairs and renovations, you want to engage a range of real estate agents to provide you with free property appraisals. Do this every six months or so long before you sell, while make sure you cast that net nice and wide. Don’t just restrict yourself to the one or two local agents in your neighborhood, but engage surrounding agents. They will jump at the chance to extend their prospective pool of clients beyond their immediate market, and they may even win your business in the end.
Having a significantly wide range of appraisals will quickly highlight a fairly accurate estimate of your property’s value, while also helping you to find that one agent who will represent you on the market. You can also compare each one of these appraisals with the price estimates you find online, which are based on your local market and comparable properties nearby.
Property appraisal vs property valuers
At some point as you continue to have property appraisals done by agents, and following the completion of any upgrades and repairs to your property, it can be beneficial to have your property valued. This is a more thorough analysis of your property’s features as well as the market, and is often used in scenarios such as refinancing or settling legal disputes. Valuers are required to go through training to apply a range of criteria to the pricing of your home. This step may also help you find the best agent for your home, as with a sound knowledge of the value of your home you will weed out those potential suitors who don’t have your best interests at heart.
There are a few things you can do to prepare for a valuation. It is important to list all of the unseen benefits/advantages to your home. The most obvious unseen benefits are those that are built into the construction the building (recycled insulation, underfloor heating, sustainable building materials, double-glazed windows, air circulation design) and energy-saving additions (grey water systems, water-saving native gardens, solar panels).
Provide your value these advantages in the form of a printed document, and have them check each one for its condition etc, even listing the date they were installed to highlight the extent of the product’s lifetime (i.e. solar panels).
Working with your agent to price your home to sell
Once you have gone through the process of having regular property appraisals done and even having your home valued professionally, you will probably have a good idea of who you want to work with when selling your home.
In Victoria, underquoting laws introduced in 2017 ensure that the advertised price of a home sits within a 10 per cent range, and is stated clearly in advertising without such vague indications as ‘anything above…’ or symbols such as ‘$600,000 +’.
Legislation is sure to follow across Australia, yet it is still common to see such symbols and a lack of accurate price ranges in some markets. No matter what state you sell your home in, it is to your benefit as a vendor to list your property accurately. Doing so helps to improve the sense of transparency within the real estate industry, improving consumer confidence in the buying and selling process, while instantly filtering out buyers whose budgets do not suit your expectations.
If states where legislation does not yet exist that restricts the use of vague symbols and language, find an agent that demonstrates an understanding of how an accurate and public listing price can have such a powerful role in finding buyers for your home, and sit down with them to analyse the local market before settling on a price range of 10 per cent either way.