There are a number of ways to understand the value of your property ranging from free to a few hundred dollars. You can go it alone and compare properties with similar rating valuations and features in the area that have sold recently, you can get in touch with your local real estate agent for an appraisal, purchase a Property Profile Report or a Full Market Valuation or both. A combination of a few of these options can give you a good indication of what your property will likely sell for.
Two houses in the same location, of similar size and with the same reserve price, can sell for a big difference in value. It begs the question, how do you add the most value to a home, and what value do high specifications add in today's property market?
It may be worth spending more on "high spec" features for homes at the high end of the market, but for more modest priced homes you have to be careful not to over-capitalise, or overspend on improvements that won’t increase the value of your home.
Whether or not "high specification" adds value differs between suburbs and value ranges because of the demographics of an area. Different buyers value different things.
Spending money on kitchens and bathrooms will usually add value to a home. But if you want to know whether to spend $10,000 or $30,000 on your bathroom makeover you need to consider the overall value and location of your home. On a higher priced property you are likely to add at least the value of a "high spec" bathroom but at the lower end then you might be better to spend $10,000 instead. A modern kitchen that doesn’t break the bank will still add value to a home. But if you spend $40,000 on a kitchen in a modest home, you may not get the same value back.
Relaying carpet or replacing the roof won't add value to your property, carpets are a chattel and roofs fall under repairs and maintenance. A roof is expected to be functional and do its job. You will lose money if leaks otherwise it is just a cost. You wouldn’t replace a roof unless it’s needed. As long as the roof of the dwelling is well maintained, functional and in reasonable condition the value will not be impacted by the roof.
Landscaping can add a significant amount of value a property. However it may not be a direct relationship between value spent and value added. The added value of well-presented landscaping is generally on the overall saleability of a home through increased street appeal/utility. It is a great way to get potential purchasers through your home on open homes.
In regards to how much should be spent on landscaping, again it depends on the overall value level and type of property. The market expectation of the level of landscaping in a high value suburb is significantly greater than that of a lower value suburb.
The nature of the property can also dictate the nature of the landscaping and site development utilised. For example if you own a high end character villa you ideally want to keep that timber picket fence out front rather than replace it with something more modern.
Property owners should consider the nature of their property and the wider neighbourhood before commencing any major landscaping works.
Another example of this could be replacing timber joinery in a villa/character bungalow with modern aluminium joinery as this does not enhance the character and detracts from the value.
Garaging is another element that is also very dependent on the locality of the property. In areas which have larger land sites and generally more space, a new garage may not add much in value. However, in inner city suburbs where land is at a premium and the lots are much smaller and off street parking is scarce, a garage could add a significant amount of value to your property.
If you have done significant work it might be worth investing in a Full Market Valuation to get an understanding of the worth of your property.
A Full Market Valuation is:
Deciding the right time to buy or sell doesn’t have to be a guessing game. By getting to know the market as it stands, as well as the general trends that have long been established, your end goal, be it buying or selling, can hopefully be achieved within your required timeframe.
Buyers' vs sellers' market
One thing to look at when you decide to enter into the property market is whether your area is currently a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market.
In simple terms a buyers' market benefits the people looking to buy a property. Generally, there are more properties on the market than buyers. Sellers are essentially vying for their attention as sales are harder to come by in this environment. Buyers can benefit through increased negotiations over price as well having more choice and less competition regarding the properties they are looking at.
A seller's market on the other hand is essentially the opposite. There are multiple buyers looking and fewer properties for sale. This generally forces more competition and can increase sale prices as a result.
If you are selling and buying at the same time, it can be a bit of a balancing act depending on the current market environment. For example, if house prices are generally on the rise this can be great for when you sell. But it also means you may be forced to pay extra, or over the odds, for a property when you buy. Reversely, if house prices are low you may get a good deal buying but when you come to sell you own, it may not reach your full expectations.
You can get an idea of how the market is playing out by keeping an eye on our latest monthly value statistics and market commentary. You can also register with us to receive them as part of our email newsletter.
The seasonal impact
Across the seasons, you will generally encounter different times for when it is most affective to buy and sell.
Although each year can differ depending on the economic climate, generally speaking the autumn and spring seasons are when most of the property sales occur. Even what seem like the smallest things, like extra sunlight and warmth, can affect how a house is viewed. As a result these seasons are more conducive to properties changing hands. Summer would seem like a good time also; however, a lot of people in the market can buy or sell before or after, avoiding the busy Christmas and New Year period.
Other factors to consider
There are many other factors you need to consider when you decide to buy or sell a property. Regardless of market conditions and current trends, you need to look at your personal circumstances. If you need to sell by a certain time for example, you don’t have a choice. However, perhaps trying to sell earlier and having a later settlement date, instead of starting to sell close to any deadline date would be a better option.
Some other important factors that you need to consider include:
Economic climate – is the current climate meaning people are holding onto their money?
Interest rates – are they low and making buying an easier prospect for you?
Neighbourhood developments – is a nearby eyesore going to affect whether you buy a property, or how does it impact you when selling? Or is something like a motorway extension or an airport expansion going to affect your home?
Defining features of your property – is there something that sets your property apart from ones nearby? Or, is a characteristic of your property highly sought after at the moment?