Finding The True Value Of Your Home

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

We’ve all heard about the importance of pricing your home to sell and that's hardly surprising, when sales will slow it’s everywhere. Newspaper and Internet articles are constantly telling us that we don’t know what we are thinking and bombard us with bad news regarding the price of our most prized, most expensive possession. According to most, we are complete and utter idiots and should leave the complicated stuff to the professionals, but with all the tools and indicators out there is it really that difficult to value your own home? Unfortunately, it actually is. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous and unless you understand and can see the bigger picture, you could be left sitting gazing wistfully at the for sale sign outside the gate while waiting for the hordes of prospective buyers to pop in.The biggest problem facing sellers is often objectivity. They fell in love with the property from the first, they have happy memories and particularly those who have raised children in the home, attach a fair amount of sentimental value to the property. Unfortunately, buyers do not share these sentiments and whilst love may be blind, the cold reality of an over-priced home is glaringly obvious to all but the seller. You may argue that property owners are paying rates based on the true value of the home and therefore that is what the house should sell for. There are a number of flaws with this theory. Firstly, the experts who conducted the valuations did not physically inspect each and every property. Basing a house price on the number of bedrooms and the actual size of the land is not only unrealistic, it can be downright misleading. The other problem is that the valuations did not appear to be consistent in certain suburbs. Aerial photography was used extensively during the process. Unfortunately, a double-storey house was seen as a single-storey, there was no clear indication as to the physical condition of the home and for the best part, valuers were drafted in from other areas and were not au fait with local market conditions . Of course, and perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, was that in an effort to charge the highest rates possible it was in the municipalities best interest to come up with the highest valuation possible.Perhaps the most damaging part of this entire exercise was that although homeowners were quick to go and pound down the doors objecting to the increase in their rates bill, they adopted a far less militant approach when it came to selling; after all this is how much the authorities had valued the property, so it must be correct. Other factors often put a spanner in the works too. Any estate agent will tell you that the biggest obstacle they often have to face is the over-ambitious neighbour. We’ve all met him! He’s the one that knows everything as he has had his property on the market for years. The fact that “Bob” down the road is trying to selling his home for triple the value influences his neighbours no end and everyone jumps on the bandwagon. No amount of reasoning will convince a seller that his own home is worth far less than the neighbours. After all, they (the seller) have an extra bedroom, have landscaped the garden and put in a pool. Regardless of how long the neighbour's property has been on the market does not seem to hit home and sellers stick to their guns… to their detriment.Anyone who needs to sell a property fairly quickly should call in the cavalry, even if they don’t plan to use the services of an estate agent to sell the home. Calling in the experts, who have all the facts and figures at their fingertips will more often than not save the day, by taking the emotionality surrounding the transaction out of the equation, thus paving the way for a successful sale to a willing and able buyer.

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