There comes a point in time where every Aussie homeowner will need to organise a valuation for their home.
Valuations is an important tool used to understand just how much your property is worth.
It is needed to understand how much equity you have in the property and a necessary step in refinancing to ensure you don’t end up overcapitalising.
There are two ways to have your property valued.
A real estate agent: It’s important to remember free appraisals offered by real estate agents can be overly-optimistic, because at the end of the day they do have a duty to create business through their practice.
Qualified property valuer: Considers a large range of factors in the process of calculating the value of your home. These valuations are also accepted by lenders and in legal circumstances that require the value of the property.
What does a valuer take into account?
Let’s take a quick look at what is taken into consideration during a valuation:
- The location of your home: neighbourhood, within great metro area, in relation to amenities, public transport, parklands, schools and kindergartens.
- The condition of the home
- The use of natural light within the home
- Any unknown covenants that may restrict future development and value of the land
- Land/property size: how many bedrooms and bathrooms
- Local property market: recent sales, current listings
- Fixtures and fittings
- Ease of access: garage options
- Areas for improvement
- Presentation and fit-out standards
With an indication of what a valuer will look out for, here are some tips to get the most out of your valuation.
1. Clean up the place
As obvious as this sounds, it’s one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Treat the valuation the same way you’d prepare for an open house inspection and give everything a good clean and tidy up the place.
If necessary, give the exterior a fresh coat of paint, you’d be surprised just how much of an impact this can have on the overall value of your home.
Other simple things you can do include:
- Mow the lawn
- Tidy up the garden
- Give the driveway a good clean
- Fix any dents on the garage door, give it a fresh coat of paint
- Make sure there are no dirty dishes left in the sink
- Fold and put all clothes away
- Tidy bedrooms and make the beds
- Clean and tidy bathrooms
2. Let there be light!
Natural light can have a huge positive impact on the property’s perceived value. If you’re stumped for natural light, don’t be afraid to get a little clever with other forms of lighting.
The goal is to make the place feel more inviting by being brighter and lighter, after all no one wants to live in the dark.
3. Spruce up the landscape
Let’s face it, Australians love a good garden so it’s in your best interest to spruce it up. The best part about doing up the landscape is that it won’t cost you much money, however be prepared to dedicate a bit of time and effort.
Here are some quick and easy tips to create an attractive landscape:
- Invest in new soil
- Plant some shrubs and flowers
- Tidy up the yard, removing any dead plants and foliage
- Mow the lawn
- Add some ground cover, rocks, and garden beds
- Consider adding landscape lighting
A quick makeover can make a world of a difference, it allows potential buyers (if you’re selling your home) to imagine themselves spending time in the outdoors and enjoying an alfresco lifestyle.
4. Point out recent improvements
If you’ve recently upgraded or installed any new features that may not be obvious or hidden behind walls/floors — don’t be afraid to point them out.
Whether you’ve just changed the wiring or complete extensive insulation, or added underfloor heating in the bathroom, these can all influence the value of your home.
If you’re aware of any new developments underway in the area, such as a new kindergarten or playground being constructed on your street, let them know.
However, this is not to say you shadow the valuer all day long. It’s not necessary to try and ‘sell’ your home, so give them space to do their job.
5. Upgrade and update, but don’t overcapitalise
The kitchen and bathroom can have the largest impact on the value of your home so it pays well to give them a little love. If you’re looking to spend some money to improve your property, these are the two key areas to do so, however, be mindful not to overcapitalise.
Some simple upgrades include:
- Fixing any peeling paint
- Updating fittings and fixtures
- Changing door/cabinet latches that are squeaky or don’t work
- Replace leaking taps
- Repair and replace loose tiles
- Ensure there is no mouldy tiles
- Repair any cracks in the ceiling or walls
- Repair your garage door if it is noisy or doesn’t close properly
6. Have recent local sales handy
Most valuers will do their due diligence and check out the local sales figures when they come get their final figure. But if you know of any recent sales in the area, it doesn’t hurt to have these numbers handy, especially if they are very recent sales or private sales.
The best time to get a valuation is when there have been two to three recent sales in the area that are similar to the value of your property. If you find any local marketing material — brochures or flyers — pass them onto the valuer so they may confirm with local real estate agents.
Has your garage seen better days?
As something that accounts for 30% of your home’s exterior, it’s a good idea to ensure it’s in tiptop shape. A sectional garage door that’s covered in dents, faded or peeling paint can really detract from the homes overall look and in turn, decrease the value of your property.