Put a Price on Your Home

How do you go about finding out the true value of your home? You might not want to go to the expense of hiring a qualified property valuer, but you are worried about the accuracy of relying on market appraisals from real estate agents or online property price reports.

Your choice should largely depend on what you want the valuation for and how much you are prepared to spend. A professional valuation by a qualified valuer will give you the most accurate indication of what your property is worth but it will cost you a few hundred dollars. In many situations this might be a worthwhile investment, such as if you are trying to decide whether to sell or refinance and you need a clear picture of your options. Qualified, independent valuations are also expected by most lenders if you are borrowing to buy a new property, refinancing or want to access the equity in your home.

By comparison, market appraisals from real estate agents and e-valuations cannot be relied on for their accuracy but they are useful in some situations, such as for increasing your market knowledge of property prices and providing you with a price estimate at little or no cost.

You may decide that you want to use a combination of the following options for figuring out what your property is worth.

1. Compare prices

Compare your property with recent sales in the area and keep an eye on what comparable properties have sold for. Make sure the properties you compare with have similar features like the same number of bathrooms and bedrooms.

2. E-valuations

There are many websites offering automated property valuations, some of which are accurate and others not. Choosing a decent website can be a bit of a lottery so it pays to stick with reputable sources like RP Data, Australian Property Monitors and Residex and look for reports that give information about comparable sales in the area or the historical sale prices of the property.

3. Real Estate Agent Appraisals

Estate agents often provide free market appraisals of what they believe the property will sell for. In many cases you can rely on an agent to give you a decent estimate but keep in mind that some agents might be over-pricing to get the contract or under-pricing for a quick and easy sale.

4. Licensed valuation

A comprehensive valuation includes a thorough internal and external inspection of the property that takes into account the property's unique attributes. This is combined into a report that includes recent comparable sales in the area and prevailing market conditions.

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