Property Appraisals: What Are They and Why Now Is a Good Time to Get One
Whether you are looking to sell now, or in a year from now, the essential first step is to find out what your home is really worth in the current market.
Finder.com.au reports that the property market will ultimately determine how much your property will sell for, but that you need to approach selling with a ballpark figure in mind before negotiations begin. Here, we take you through the ins and outs of property appraisals, and why now is a good time to get one.
What is a property appraisal?
A property appraisal is essentially an estimate of the complete value of your home by a licensed real estate agent. From the location to the property’s unique features, the agent will not only visit your home, but use their knowledge of the local property market, and their buyers network, to present you with a price guide to your property’s worth.
“The proof is in the pudding with property appraisals. By getting an experienced real estate agent that has in-depth knowledge of your local market, you will know your expected selling price right from the get-go and be able to make smart decisions about your property,” says Chief Auctioneer, Andrew Robinson.
“At the moment, Hockingstuart is offering free property appraisals, so even if you’re not considering selling right away, it’s a useful exercise to give you an idea of your property’s market value, especially when it’s no strings attached.”
What’s involved in appraising a property?
There are many aspects to a property appraisal that contribute to the overall estimated price of your home. Although, there are particular areas that an agent will look at, it’s important to remember that every property is different and has something unique to offer to the market.
Market conditions and recent local sales
Whilst an agent will base their evaluation primarily on your actual property, they also consider the current market conditions and sales made in your local area in the last 90 days.
“A great appraising agent will really know your market, the interest from potential buyers, and what those buyers are looking for in a property. When meeting with an agent, ask them questions to test their knowledge of the local area so you know they are well equipped to manage the appraisal,” says Andrew.
As the saying goes ‘location, location, location’ and this is a key ingredient when it comes to appraising your property. When looking at your property location, not only does this mean your street, but the vicinity of your home to public amenities, attractions, accessibility to public transport and zoning for local schools.
Property size, structure and condition
Both your property and block are key to the overall value of your property as well the sizing of each space in your home.
“For example, if you are in an area with lots of families, the agent will look at backyard size, number of bedrooms and flow of indoor to outdoor living spaces. They will also be looking at car spaces too,” says Andrew.
Regardless of your properties age or styling, if it has a strong structure your property’s value will be higher.
“All smart, potential buyers will look at a building report for any issues, so agents will be looking at how well-built the home is and letting you know if it will affect the final estimated price.”
When having your property appraised think about what your house would look like to a potential buyer. Does your property have good curb appeal? Can a buyer walk in and imagine themselves living there?
“Although, presentation of the property can be majorly enhanced by styling, premium marketing and photography, it is important to make a first impression that lasts with your agent and then, with your buyer,” adds Andrew.
Planning and restrictions
As well as location of your property, the agent will look at restrictions that come with your property from the local council. As appealing as your house may be to you, a potential buyer or investor may be on the lookout to do something different with your block.
Why the time is right for appraisals now
“Getting an appraisal now is a good idea because, with the easing of restrictions on open homes and auctions across the country, we are seeing real estate activity pick up dramatically,” says Andrew.
“With strong conditions returning to the market, it’s worth getting an appraisal now, so you can get a head start on the market, especially if you were planning on selling during winter – for the benefit of less competition, or at the beginning of the busy spring selling season.”