Where to go for an accurate market appraisal

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With so many experts in the field, who is the best person to talk to to get an accurate market value of your property?
 
Is it a selling agent? Buyer’s agent? Licenced valuer? Architect, builder, interior designer?!
 
There are so many qualified people operating in the real estate industry that it can be difficult knowing exactly who to turn to when you want to work out a realistic valuation of your property.
 
It’s likely that you’ll get a different answer from each person, depending on who you speak to you…
 
Real estate agent
If you ask a selling agent to give you a market appraisal, make sure you speak to someone who specialises in your particular suburb. That way, they’ll have more than just a list of comparable sales to go by when estimating your home’s worth; they’ll also be able to draw from local market intel such as the level of buyer enquiry, average days on market for similar homes, and the types of offers neighbouring vendors have been receiving. Be sure to ask two or three real estate agents through, and then average their results to get a ballpark figure.
 
Buyer’s agent
A buyer's agent is a great resource that many people fail to use, but they can offer very valuable information. They deal with buyers day in, day out, so they’ll be able to tell you exactly what potential buyers in your area are looking for, which could give you clues on how to boost your property’s value. Best of all, if you’re planning to sell, a buyer’s agent is tapped into a ready supply of qualified buyers, so they may be able to link you up with your home’s new owner!
 
Licenced valuer
Paying for an official valuation is generally the best way to gain a realistic appraisal of your property’s value, although depending on the market the figure they come up with may be more conservative you hoped for. During the GFC, for instance, property valuers were more cautious in their appraisals.

In general, a valuer will come up with an amount based on the International Valuation Standards definition, which is: “The estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller, in an arm’s-length transaction after proper marketing, wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without compulsion.” You can expect to pay around $400 for an official valuation.

 
Architect, builder or interior designer
While these industry experts may not be able to give you an official market appraisal, they will be able to offer some clever insight into things you could do to increase your property’s value for a better sale price. For instance, many interior designers will, for about $500, spend a half day inspecting your home and drawing up plans and advice to do with increasing your property’s appeal. A builder or architect may be able to make similar structural suggestions to boost your home’s appeal and value.

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