Property valuations and deciding on a selling price

Private Property South Africa
Property Power

You need the services of a professional valuer to provide you with a valuation of your property. This is an estimate or opinion of the value of your home. By law, valuers need to be registered with the South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession. An estate agent, who is a registered valuer, should be able to help you make a decision on a realistic asking price.

When deciding on the selling price, also keep in mind the minimum price that you are prepared to accept, and what costs you will need to incur as part of the sales transaction.

A municipal valuation of the property can be obtained from your local authority, but often this figure is not a reflection of the value of the improvements and alterations that you have made to your home.

It is advisable to compare similar homes with yours to get an indication of what your home would sell for. Ask a number of estate agencies for their opinion as this will give you a very good market related selling price.

There are many factors which play a role in adding value to your home you are trying to sell.

The property itself:

  • A spacious, well lit, open plan Kitchen (with separate scullery) with modern finishes and equipment which is well maintained will obviously bring more value to a property than a small, dark, outdated kitchen.

  • The Bathrooms need to be reasonably spacious and modern. There is a trend towards “plumbing” (by this we mean the taps and sanitary ware) contributing to water and waste saving. Generally speaking, a full bathroom (including bath and shower) is more valuable than half bathrooms (with just a shower).

  • A 3-Bedroom (with built-in cupboards) home, for example, is likely to be more valuable than having 2 bedrooms (with BICs) plus a study.

  • The Living Areas: a home with a "living" room (or kids play room) and a "formal" lounge has more value than a home with just one lounge.

  • Entertainment Areas are luxuries that also have an impact on the value of a home, like a swimming pool, bar area, games rooms or jacuzzi rooms, and so on.

  • Modern Outbuildings consisting of double garages, well equipped (electrics & plumbing) servants quarters with bathroom facilities, store rooms or even workshops and sheds can influence the value of a home.

Factors ‘outside’ of the property itself:

  • The location of the property is important (where it is situated). A property next to a busy road, shopping centre or offices, and so on, could be less valuable than a property in a quite suburb surrounded by other houses.

  • Safety and security are very important factors to consider. Please be wary of properties that are adjacent to open fields or unprotected bush. These areas, even though they are nice to look at and seem to bring a sense of calm or scenery, are often homes to vagrants, or hide-outs for burglars. Security equipment installed on the property increases the value in most instances.

  • The close proximity of schools, shopping centres, churches, and so on, as well as convenient access to and from the area (motor ways or main roads) are also factors which impact on the value.

Tips to remember when deciding on a selling price:

  • A buyer who is seriously looking, soon becomes very knowledgeable in his price range. An unreasonable asking price only discourages him from looking and considering the property.

  • Buyers purchase by comparison, and a property priced above the competition does not compare favourably.

  • By not having a price and inviting a buyer to make an offer could indicate that a fair price has not been established for the property.

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.

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