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Ensuring your home is valued correctly

Thinking of selling your property but don’t know where to start? Well, the first step is to get an estate agent’s valuation of your property. This will tell you what your property is worth in the current market. Selling your property is one of the biggest decisions you will make, so it’s important to get it right.

Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property, advises that "Pricing your property too high and you will simply deter would-be buyers, while too low and you won't get as much as you could have done. Compare quotes from estate agents and keep an eye on comparable properties and what price they have fetched."

Carry out your own research on the value of your home and its selling points. Get information about local schools [and transport links] and have all that information to hand.

Stevens says that said should keep in touch with their agent and get feedback. "If the agent does not call, call them. You need to know why potential buyers have decided not to make an offer as there may be something you can adjust to make your home more sellable" says Stevens.

Although most renovations will increase the marketability of a home, certain unorthodox renovations will negatively impact a property’s value. Renovations that are specific to the current owner’s tastes or interests, such as a gym or greenhouse, may not appeal to buyers viewing the home. Unfinished renovations or poor workmanship can also devalue the property. There is no reasonable explanation for below standard DIY renovations that could be expensive to rectify. It is also important that if any major renovations have been undertaken, all documentation and permission has been granted by the necessary governing bodies

If you’re planning to sell your home or refinance your loan then you will need to have your home appraised. Your appraiser is responsible for examining recent sales in your area and obtaining other information to assess your property. The following 6 steps can help you ensure your appraisal is as accurate as possible and correctly reflects your home’s true value:

Provide ample documentation: Just Property suggests putting together a packet of official documents for the appraiser, including titles, recent tax bills, building plans and a list of any improvements you’ve made to your property. By providing these items, you’ll hopefully ensure the appraiser doesn’t accidentally miss or forget to include information in the appraisal.
 
Consider updating your home’s interior: If you have the time and the budget, making a few design tweaks — such as updating cabinets in your home — can help improve your home’s appearance and, potentially, its perceived value.
 
Make the appraiser’s job easier: Make sure your crawlspace, attic and basement entrances are accessible so the appraiser doesn’t have to move large objects to inspect the areas.
 
Ensure your home is up to code: Check to confirm you have working light switches, no mold or mildew or windows with bars that don’t have safety latches — which appraisers are required, by law, to check for.
 
Spruce up your front yard: Mowing your lawn and generally improving your home’s exterior may help boost your appraiser’s first impression of your home. A messy yard could potentially cost you thousands of dollars in an appraisal.
 
Be Realistic: Everyone wants the highest possible valuation for their property but do try and remember that the valuation process is not an exact science. It is the agent’s job to give you the most accurate valuation they can. If you do not agree with the valuation, ask the agent to explain their rationale: they should be able to offer comparable data to justify this.


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