Anyone who wants to sell a house has the following question on his or her mind: What is my house worth? If you’re in that boat, we’ve put together a list of three ways you can get your property valued.

Online valuations

These are the easiest to do, both in terms of money and effort. Generally, you enter the details of your property – such as bedrooms, section size, number of bedrooms etc – into an online portal, and the magic calculator sitting at the back crunches the numbers and spits out a value for your house. This calculation takes into account sales data for properties like yours in your area and gives you an estimate.

The advantage of using an online valuation is that you get an immediate ballpark without having to spend money. Most valuation portals today are free. The disadvantage is that your property’s unique features will not be taken into account. Maybe your house has a built-in air-conditioning system and ventilation system. The other disadvantage is that market conditions are not taken into account: if you try selling in the middle of a housing bust, you will get less than what the calculator says, and if you try selling in the middle of a boom, you will get more.

Real Estate Agent valuations

Many Real Estate agents offer a free ‘service’ whereby they pay you a visit and give you an appraisal. The theory is that since they have insight on and experience in the market, and since they have a finger on the ‘buyer’s pulse’, they know what range of price buyers are willing to pay for a property like yours. Since they pay you a personal visit, they can also take into account your property’s unique features that won’t show up on an online valuation.

The advantage of this is that it’s most often free. But the main thing to be wary of is that Real Estate agents have a tendency to give you a high price appraisal in the hope that you will be tempted to sell the house. If you take this route, make sure you trust your Real Estate agent.

Independent valuations

This is perhaps the most unbiased way to get your house valued. There are council-approved valuers assigned to every suburb in the country who will provide an appraisal of your house based on a variety of factors, both unique and general. These valuations generally cost in the region of $250 apiece, but what you get in return is an unbiased estimate for how much you can hope to sell your property. The disadvantage of this is that like in the first method, an independent valuer is not very well-versed in things such as market sentiment.

So if you’re planning to sell your house, make sure you adopt at least two of the three above methods before you take the plunge. Good luck!

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Christian Mc Karthy

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