9 May 2022

How to determine the value of a home

Danielle Redford

Assets are only as consequential as their value or worth. An asset without value is an asset without use. This is because assets are means through which people can generate income, increase equity, boost business value, and help in the operations of a business venture. What's more, these stores of values aren't only applicable to businesses and corporations. They can be personal and private too. One of the best/safest assets anybody can ever have is a real estate property.

Many homeowners lead simple lives; they buy a house, move in, and stay in until it's time to move. While real estate forms one of the most popular asset types a person can have, very few people bother to keep up with the valuation of their home. They usually have approximations based on the amount they bought the place, even though this might be wrong and the property has either appreciated or depreciated. This isn't optimal – knowing the value of one's home is an excellent way to always be prepared and gives one the certainty of assurance should the time to sell ever arrive.

There are various avenues to get the exact valuation of a property. Most require little to no effort on the homeowner's part. Property owners should employ an amalgam of different methods to ensure accurate values.

Methods through which a house's valuation can be found out include

Through estimation

Automation plays a role in this method. This method is essentially the use of automation to draw up estimates of the property using consideration of various factors like the house's location, the size, the structure and design, and against the present state of the market. From these factors, the value of the home can be gotten. Most agents use various free online domains that help property owners appraise their property without much hassle. The approximations are usually presented as a range of values to enhance accuracy. They utilize all available information from various fonts; recent and not-so-recent property listings mandates from the government, location, size, amenities in the home like garages, parking lots, gardens, etc.

To paraphrase Christian Gillott, a product manager from the Domain for owners, this method is mainly utilized as a ""first-step"" process that should be one in a long line of procedures to determine a person's property value. It is handled using a combination and consideration of other elements of the property, such as purchase price, location, etc.

These approximations in property value would be more accurate and reliable in locations where real estate transactions are frequent. Christian talks about properties with inaccurate or unresolved estimates, citing the lack of sufficient information about the property itself and the lack of real estate transactions in the area. He states this mostly happens with distinctive, unconventional, and very expensive properties.


Unlike the process of estimation, valuation does not require automated assistance. Valuation is done by professional real estate surveyors or valuers and is a detailed report that enumerates its characteristics and value. This report is prepared after a thorough inspection and is based on features of the home farther divorced from its size and other imposing factors.

Amelia Hodge, the Australian Property Institute chief executive, has defined a valuation as a document that should follow a rigorous course and standards. Unlike estimation, it considers the property against more rigid broader metrics; metrics like the present real estate market, account zoning, and the property's condition (whether it is worn or in good condition). That being said, valuations can be considered a more empirical and reliable analysis. The surveyor and valuers analyzing the property are also advised to project the value against its market size (its sellability). It goes without saying that properties with large markets and extensive allure are easier to sell than properties that cater to a niche group.

Hodge talks about how valuations are sanctioned by loaners to help ascertain the property's value during the appeal for loans by debtors or potential mortgagers. This is done to establish validation of the process and provide an attestation to the actual purchase value of the property, fulfilling legislative mandates.

While valuations have the edge over appraisals in accuracy and legal utility, they are costlier.


Appraisals are often confused with valuations, but the fundamental difference between both lies in the fact that valuers do valuations and real estate agents do appraisals. Appraisals also differ in that they are not based on the home's value alone, but they are projections on sale prices that agents draw up for the event that the house is sold. Appraisals also depend on the recent sales in the area.

The Agency co-founder, Hassen Shad, offers a more appropriate breakdown. It is more about the potential to add value, he says. It also involves the offshoot constructions of recent sales around the area – these directly affect the price expected from the sale of the appraised home. This process also considers the market size and access to potential buyers looking for properties of that calibre. Hassen advises owners to get agents who have experience in the area; they are more likely to understand the market and allure of properties to specific groups.

Unlike valuations which are often paid for, appraisals are done free of charge. It shows good initiative to take advantage of this and get estimates from different entities simultaneously. You are bound to get varying figures, which can be acted upon accurately. The assessments usually differ because sometimes agents can up the amount to ensure the homeowners who want higher prices can give them the gig. Thus, Hassen advises never to choose an agent based on their appraisal value.

Market testing

Another way to get precise projections on the value of your home is to put the property on the market. This is accurate because it considers the inclinations of actual buyers gotten through bids and offers. This should not be ventured into alone. However, property owners need to invest in research and steel themselves for the required investment expenses.

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