In changeable market conditions, valuers have almost become like bank managers were in the “old days”.
Once someone has bought a property and applied for finance, they often wait nervously to see whether the valuation stacks up to the price that they have agreed to pay on the sales contract.
Of course, for those poor souls who bought an off-the-plan unit over recent years, those stress levels were warranted because it was highly likely that the price they agreed to pay was nothing like its value come settlement time.
But that’s a topic for another time because I want to talk about whether you can improve your property valuation for the purposes of extracting equity to invest.
Of course, one of the simplest ways to do this is to undertake a cosmetic renovation to ensure the property is looking modern and clean.
Also, decluttering the property will never hurt either.
Yet, that is not the theme of this blog either.
That’s because many investors wrongly believe they can influence a valuation by being a valuer’s best friend when they arrive at the property.
Sure, they have made the property look its best, which is always a good thing, but it’s what they do next that is usually not-so-good.
You see, they will often follow a valuer around the house – but not in a helpful way.
Instead, they’ll point out every single “attribute” of the property, regardless of whether that was a standard fixture when they bought it five years ago.
“Look, here is the bathroom,” they exclaim!
To which the valuer smiles awkwardly and says, “Well, yes”.
The truth of the matter is there is not much you can do to influence a valuer but being annoying is something that won’t do you any favours.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t be helpful, especially if you have undertaken renovations on the property.
One of the best strategies to adopt, then, is to greet the valuer warmly, while not being over friendly as I mentioned above.
Then you should spend no more than a few minutes telling them about the renovations you have completed.
You don’t have to physically show them because they do have eyes to do that themselves.
They will likely also have checked out condition of the property online from when you bought it so they know what it looked like before.
That said, leaving some before and after photos with them can’t hurt.
Another strategy, especially if your property is unique, is to perhaps supply a couple of recent sales that you believe are comparable in quality, location and size.
Now, they must be truly comparable, so if you’d struggle to do this then leave it alone.
At the end of the day, a valuer is a professional who will assess your property’s value on the market as it is at the present time.
They will be determining what price your property would likely sell for if it sold that day – not yesterday or six months before or in six months time.
So, the best piece of advice I can give on whether you can improve your valuation on the day the valuer comes around is to be polite, provide any additional information that they may find helpful, and then let them get on with doing their job.
Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia's leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.
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