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What is a real estate appraisal?

By : 2017-10-26

What is a real estate appraisal-053648-edited.jpgIf you’ve ever thought about selling your home, you will probably have heard the term ‘appraisal’. But what exactly does an appraisal entail? And what can a first-time seller expect when they ask an agent to come around and appraise their home?

Even if selling your home is a distant, far-off future venture, and you don’t want to start a serious sales talk yet—or commit to anything—a home appraisal is an excellent way to uncover your home’s value in the current market. Knowing this will at the very least help you plan and prioritise any future renovations or improvements.

How does an appraisal work?

Essentially an appraisal is just an informative chat with a licensed real estate agent. An agent will come to your home, at your convenience, and talk you through a few points about your home and its place in the market. This is a great time for you to:

  • Find out the value of your home.
  • Discover ways to boost its value.
  • Learn about the future of your suburb.
  • Find out what selling method best suits your property.
  • Get all your home selling questions answered.

Lastly, an appraisal is a chance to get to know a local agent and decide if they are someone you could work with in the future.

What information will I be given?

The value of your home

To start off your home appraisal, the agent will provide you with an estimated value of your home. This likely won’t be an exact figure, rather a price range that your home might sell within in the current climate­. This price range is based on comparable properties and relevant market statistics (see below).

Remember: if you aren’t looking to sell immediately, this figure may fluctuate with the changing market.

Comparable properties

The agent will also show you comparable properties that have either recently sold or are currently on the market. These properties will be similar to your own in a number of ways; location, size and condition for instance, and can further guide you on the value of your home.

Market statistics

You’ll also receive property statistics relevant to your area to back-up the information the agent shares with you. This can include:

  • Number of homes for sale in your area
  • Average sale price for your area
  • Auction clearance rates
  • Exclusive clearance rates

Different home selling methods explained

Next, the agent will explain the various selling methods to ensure you know what your  options are, should you decided to sell. A few commonly used methods are auctions, tenders and exclusive listings. The agent will discuss the pros and cons of each method and recommend the best one for your property.

How to market your property

Options to market your property may also come up, but if you aren’t close to selling yet, you don’t need to discuss marketing at this stage. The agent may show you some differently priced packages that could suit your home, but don’t feel pressured to make any decisions this early on.

Information about the agency and agent

Lastly, the agent will tell you a little bit about themselves and the agency they work with. You’ll learn what their agency strives for and why they believe they are the best candidate to sell your home. Here at Lodge, we also provide a number of resources to help you get to know us.

Can I ask for advice on how to prepare my home for sale?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to. A home appraisal is an excellent opportunity to ask an agent for help to get your home ready to sell. As an expert on property value, they’ll know the best ways to increase the amount potential buyers are willing pay. Simply ask for some pointers and they will outline areas that could do with some work.

Moreover, in asking these questions at an appraisal, you’ll also have time to implement the recommendations before listing your home on the market.

What other questions should I ask the agent appraising my home ?

Whether you’re a first time or experienced home seller, you’ll always have questions or worries weighing on your mind. Agents are available to address all of these. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question when it comes to selling a home. It’s best to know all the facts up front, so always ask about any points you are unsure of.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What properties have you recently sold?
  • Do you specialise in my neighbourhood?
  • How will we communicate? And how often?
  • How do you handle potential buyers’ questions?
  • Do you have any testimonials or reviews from past clients?

What should I do after the appraisal?

You (and any joint owners) should look over the information the agent has shared with you. Consider how you felt about the agent and their approach to your property. If you are ready to sell and feel comfortable with the agent you spoke with, then contact them to discuss the selling process in more detail. Remember, this doesn’t have to be an immediate decision and any good agent will be perfectly happy to give you all the time and space that you need.

Key points to remember:

  1. An appraisal is not a commitment and you should come away feeling informed, not pressured.
  2. Ask any questions you have, no matter how trivial you think they may be.
  3. Take things at your own pace; if you aren’t ready to start the selling process let your agent know you want some space. Good agents work to vendors’ needs and will still be happy to sell your home years down the track.


Ready to get started? Request an appraisal here

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