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How Much Is My House Worth? Understanding Property Appraisals




Do you know what your home is really worth? If you’re thinking of selling then it’s a good idea to book a property appraisal with a local real estate agent to find out. A free property appraisal is usually part of the services offered by agencies so you, as a potential vendor, can get a feel for the market.

So why should I book an appraisal and not a valuation?

It’s easy to get confused between an appraisal and a valuation so here’s a more detailed look at these two market assessment tools for valuing a property, and when to use each.


Property Appraisals


Any real estate agent can provide you with a free property appraisal but it’s a good idea to get appraisals from a few different agents that work in your local area for a ballpark figure.

In their property appraisal report an agent will take into account your home’s location, features, buyer demand and the prices of houses recently sold in the surrounding neighbourhood. If the difference in price is slight between agents then you should be able to get a pretty good feel for what your home’s worth.

It’s more difficult to know which appraisal is accurate and honest if they vary quite widely. A high estimate could be an agent trying to get your business, while a low estimate might be an agent trying to get a quick sale.

An online property appraisal can help in this case, as it can provide an unbiased opinion. Using a site such as RealAs, means that you should be able to get an idea of a sale price that’s within 10% of the actual figure. RealAs takes into account information from buyers which appears to give a more accurate figure according to studies.

There are also other online property appraisal sites you can use such as Domain, CoreLogic and that rely on you entering your property’s address, features and recent market data. Since they’re free, there’s no harm in trying them all out.


Property Valuations


A property appraisal, whether by an agent or online, is educated guesswork to your home’s value and doesn’t have any legal standing.

A formal property valuation, however, may be required if it’s a divorce settlement, a refinancing of a home, a deceased estate or other situations that need a definitive property amount for the paperwork.

A qualified valuer undertakes the valuation (which is usually quite an in-depth process) and takes into account the home’s:

  • location,
  • structural components,
  • features
  • presentation
  • access
  • council zoning
  • any more to make their decision.

A property valuers fee is generally in the vicinity of $300 to $600 and can be up to $1000 for rural areas. Homeowners receive an in-depth written report detailing the factors that were included in the valuation.


Preparation For a Property Appraisal


Before you get an onsite property appraisal from an agent, do an online appraisal or two and attend any open homes in your neighbourhood. This will give you background knowledge so you can be in a better position to evaluate a real estate agent’s property appraisal.

The agent will be thoroughly inspecting your home (hopefully) and objectively comparing it to other homes they’ve recently sold. So make sure that your home is in good working order and presented in its best light.


How to Add Value Before an Appraisal


Inexpensive repairs and renovations can definitely boost a home’s appraisal price. Deep cleaning your house, fixing anything that’s broken and tidying up your garden is a must before you book a free property appraisal.

If you have the budget, consider renovations to your master bedroom, kitchen and bathroom as these are hotspots for buyers. Changes don’t have to be expensive, even a lick of paint, replacing cabinetry and/or handles and new furnishings can make a big difference.

It’s also worth spending some time transforming the deck/entertainment area into a functional, attractive and comfortable space for outdoor living.

Don’t forget that you have the final say in the selling price of your home, but enlisting the services of a quality local agent can offer you good guidance to reach this point, including ways to present your home.

Interested in further ways to add value to your home before an appraisal? Take Bricks+Agent’s renovation quiz and our expert team can give you further advice on where to focus your budget!

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Topics: Better Selling, Home Improvement

Jon Stul

Written by Jon Stul

Having spent over 12 years in the real estate industry covering all facets from residential through to commercial, established and off plan properties and sub-divisions, he has an in depth knowledge of the industry. Stepping out of the industry four years ago and moving interstate to expand a frozen yoghurt chain that has gone from 1 to 4 stores in the time he has been involved. This was recently sold to Made Group. Real estate has always been in his blood and it was a natural fit to start Bricks + Agent given the amount of insight he has into the industry as a whole. Having seen how all different forms of traditional marketing was used to the direction that it is now heading today, we think we have come up with a truly unique proposition that fits into the current state of the property maintenance market.

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