Want to know what your home is really worth? You’ll need to put aside your emotional attachment to it and take a practical approach to define its real market value.
It’s easy to get emotional about the value of your home. After all, you may have put your blood, sweat and tears into a renovation, lovingly maintained it for years, and even raised a family there. However, to set the actual market value of your home, you need to put emotion aside and take a practical approach.
This is where a real estate agent can provide assistance with local market knowledge and comparable sales that will give you an accurate estimate of the real market value of your home. And that means you’ll be well placed to make an informed decision about whether or not to sell your property based on clear market data, not wild guesses clouded by emotion.
Here’s how to identify the market value of your property…
Okay, so it’s the oldest cliché in real estate, but location nonetheless counts. Consider the property’s proximity to major amenities (such as schools, child care facilities and shops), its accessibility to a major employment centre (including public transport), and any special characteristics of your neighbourhood that makes it an appealing place to live.
If your property features a distinctive architectural style, manicured gardens or a modern portico-style entry that boosts its street appeal, then you could be up for a bump in its overall value. Also consider whether it’s located on the high or low side of the street, the ease of vehicle access and any security features.
The flow of your home can be just as important as its size. That is, modern open-plan living areas that connect to alfresco entertaining can trump a larger living room that’s not orientated as well. Of course, the number and size of bedrooms – especially the master suite – wields a heavy influence on property values, so identify where any utility rooms (such as a study) can be sold as an extra bedroom.
New kitchens and bathrooms will put plenty of upward pressure on the value of your property, but don’t neglect the less sexy internal appointments. Plentiful built-in storage, well-equipped internal laundries, premium fixtures and fittings such as pendant lighting, new floor coverings, security windows and doors, and air conditioning can all improve the perceived quality of your home – and its value.
Alfresco living is all the rage these days, so an impressive back deck, pergola, pool, outdoor kitchen and gardens are likely to be high on buyers’ priority lists. The size of your backyard also counts toward the overall value of your home, as does the quality of fencing, its aspect, privacy, outlook and ease of access.
It’s not just ocean views that reap the big dollars. If your property showcases an elevated suburban outlook, backs onto a reserve or golf course, or provides privacy from neighbours, you should see the value of the property rise – even more so if you can assure buyers that the views will never be built out.
At the end of the day, your house is worth what a buyer will pay for it. That’s largely determined by the current conditions in your local market. Are you currently operating in a buyer’s or seller’s market? What exactly are buyers in your area looking for in a home? Is your suburb showing strong growth forecasts or is it in decline? Answering those questions will quickly reveal the real market value of your property.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.