Valuing your home? Here are some tips to get the best number

You might be valuing your home to sell or to refinance. Regardless of your motivation, you’ll more than likely be welcoming a qualified valuer into your home. But do you really understand what they’ll be looking for?

The fact is, it’s a process that’s followed in order to understand what the best (and fairest) value is for your home or property. Now, obviously, those processes differ slightly when valuing for market value or the bank – the bank’s criteria is slightly stricter.

As Real Estate Agents in Sydney, we have to deal with valuations as part of the job however, we’re not the experts. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of one. Calum Howe from Herron Todd White talks us through how to get the best number for your home or investment property and what they’re looking for in each valuation:

Look at the big picture

Whenever we approach the valuation, we start long before we step in the front door. We’re looking at a few things first:

  • Location is it close to cafes, schools, shops, is it on a busy or quiet street, how close is it to transport etc.
  • Condition and presentation – has it been renovated and if so, what kind of renovation i.e. structural changes or just a touch-up
  • The condition and reputation of the complex
  • The size of the land
  • The size and layout of the property
  • Whether there’s potential for renovation or development
  • Space – number of rooms including bedrooms, bathrooms and the size of the kitchen
  • Whether there’s onsite parking in the form of a garage or driveway

What are people willing to pay

It’s the age-old saying, it doesn’t matter what you think it’s worth, it’s what people are willing to pay for it. And that’s why we look at what similar properties in the area have recently sold for. Now, depending on who we’re valuing for, the criteria can change slightly in terms of how many properties we have to compare and in what time frame e.g. a comparison of five properties in the last six months.

Quick tips to add value without a big renovation

If you don’t want to renovate, there are some simple updates you can make which can help to add value:

Kitchen ­– you don’t have to rip out your kitchen and install a new one. Just changing your Lino kitchen benchtop to a stone top and updating the cupboard door handles can make a big difference. This is an especially important room for any property where you’re expecting over a million dollars.

Light fittings – Simply changing all your light fittings to LED and updating your fixtures whilst making sure they’re in keeping with the style of the house i.e. if it’s an Art Deco building, ultra-modern won’t work.

Window furnishings – Get rid of your nan’s thick brown curtains and update them to something fresh and modern but in keeping with the style and era of the house.

Floor coverings – A new floor can make a big difference to any property. Especially if the old one was a very dirty, well-trodden carpet.