One of the ways to monitor the value of your home is to pay attention to what’s happening in your local area. Keeping track of the prices other houses in your street are achieving, over time, will inform you about how the local market is behaving and is also a really practical way to help you learn how to determine your property’s value!
Of course, not every home in your street can function as a reference point for you – try to identify the ones similar to yours and then compare. Look for roughly the same sized blocks of land, same number of bedrooms, same views or orientations and so on. Also consider special features they may have added that contributed to a greater sale price than you might have expected. Getting inspiration from the efforts of others can help you understand what buyers are looking for in your area and what the financial benefit might be to you, if you respond to those desires.
Getting a broad overview of your local market in this way can be invaluable when deciding how much to list your property for. Sometimes the difference can lie in the addition of an impressive water feature, an outdoor kitchen, a home cinema room, or simply off-street parking. Try to recognise trends though before you respond – it’s reckless to make big changes based on a one-off jackpot across the road.
A trap that’s easy to fall into when selling your property is getting caught up in ‘the hype’. Friends and family generally want you to do well, so it’s natural they’ll tell you how wonderful your house is, how beautiful everything looks and how you’ll ‘definitely make a killing’ at auction. Be wary of overly interested neighbours too. It’s in their best interest for your house to sell at a high price – an inflated sale will improve the value of their property by default. So as kindly as they may seem, just be aware that their amateur speculation may not have your best interests at heart – unchecked speculative chatter in your street can do significant damage to your prospects of success at auction.
Getting informed is important but wouldn’t it be great if you could actually test your knowledge in a tangible way? Well you can – in the form of a professional property appraisal. Using the information you’ve gathered from your personal market research, take an informed guess at how much to list your property for, then organise a property appraisal visit from your friendly local real estate agent to find out how you did. If their valuation is way off your best guess, ask them how they came to the figure they did. What things did they take into account that you didn’t? What market information did they factor in that you did not? There are a number of factors that determine what your home is worth and not all of them will be within the scope of knowledge you can acquire from general research.
It’s well worth investing the time though in understanding what’s going on next door, down the street and around the corner. Subtle changes in the market may be the key difference between a good sale and a great sale and it’s much better if you know about them first – and get in before your neighbours do!