How much is your home really worth?

Independent 4 June 2020 1
View of Canberra suburban street.

Independent Woden & Weston Creek real estate agent Jonathan Charles recommends that property appraisals should be kept up to date because market conditions are always changing. Photo: Supplied.

Wondering how much your home is worth? For most of us, it’s our biggest asset so it makes sense we want to keep an eye on its value.

Independent Woden & Weston Creek real estate agent Jonathan Charles says he often gets people asking for an appraisal even if they have no plans to sell.

“Knowing what your property is worth is useful for a variety of reasons,” he says. “It means you know how much equity you have in the property, which you can leverage to buy an investment property. It’s also useful if you want to renovate, but you don’t want to spend more than you’ll get back if you sell later.”

A property appraisal is also your first step if you are thinking of selling.

“It really helps clarify your options,” says Jonathan. “You might want to buy somewhere bigger, relocate for a job or free up some cash to downsize once the kids have moved out. An appraisal gives you a good idea of how much you’re likely to get for the property, and you can build on that foundation.”

As market conditions are always changing, Jonathan recommends that property appraisals should be kept up to date. “We look at the comparable data,” he explains. “Sales from the past 30 days are a much stronger indicator of price than sales from a year ago so it’s a good idea to refresh your appraisal if you haven’t got one in a while.”

What really determines what a home is worth? Jonathan says there are several factors and it can be hard to know how to balance them.

“Location is a huge one,” he says. “Inner city and city-fringe suburbs are always popular because they’re so convenient for workers. For family homes, school zones are another big drawcard. I’ve seen houses on one street go for as much as $30,000 more than an almost-identical house one block over just because it falls in a desirable school zone.

“Proximity to public transport, shops and infrastructure are additional factors that will get the buyer buzzing, and a good agent will highlight those in an appraisal.”

The size of your home will also significantly affect its price. That includes the size of the block as well as the overall living space.

“A small house on a large block could be attractive to developers as well as people who value a big garden so it’s worth more than the same house on a smaller block,” says Jonathan.

The number of bedrooms, additional living spaces, ensuites and outdoor areas all make your home more desirable and therefore increase its value. An agent will look at all these things when comparing it to similar properties.

Jonathan says another major factor is the condition of the interior. Is your home newly updated and ready to move into, or does it require work by the buyer?

“Buyers mentally price in any extra work they’ll need to do,” he explains. “If the kitchen is looking tired and they think they’ll need to spend $15,000 updating it, that $15,000 comes off their spending budget. However, if your kitchen is brand new, buyers will usually be happy to pay more to just move in and enjoy it.”

Balancing these factors is where it gets really tricky. Is a large house in need of some love worth more or less than a smaller one with a brand new upscale interior? How much is a view really worth?

“Character homes can be tricky to appraise,” says Jonathan. “You really want an agent with experience and a skill set in that type of property. It’s not just a matter of looking at similar properties like you would if you were selling a unit in a large development. You need to really know your market.

“We conduct buyer research evenings where we drill down to what buyers want and what they think a property is worth. We can then take that knowledge forward to future properties to give sellers as accurate an estimate as possible.”

If you want to find out what your home is worth, an appraisal is the best way to go. You can get an instant appraisal from Independent.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.


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Acton Acton 6:44 am 07 Jun 20

Your home is worth whatever the market will pay for it. Property appraisals are just inflated guesses simply designed to get you to list your home for sale with the agent. Once you list with the agent they tell potential buyers the price is negotiable and pressure the seller to accept lower offers so as to get their sales commission. That’s how it works.

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