Andrew Mirams is the Managing Director of Intuitive Finance and is a highly-qualified mortgage advisor holding dual diplomas in Financial Planning (Financial Services) and Banking and Finance (Mortgage Broking). Andrew now has over 29 years of professional experience in finance and mortgage broking, winning many awards and being recognised as 1 of the top 10 brokers in Australia. Here are his take-away tips.
1. Be nice to the valuer
I know it sounds petty but yes, they have feelings too. So being accessible and working with them to make a prompt time that suits all parties will leave a positive impression with them. Also, welcoming them and offering them a drink or just some common courtesy has never gone astray. Valuers may do 5 or 6 valuations in a day, and after battling traffic etc. to get these done, just being courteous definitely won’t hurt your cause.
2. Clean your place up
Now, again, it’s something that is very simple and easy to do but you’d be surprised at how many valuations we get back with general comments about the property’s presentation. Very simple things such as:
- Mow the lawns
- Tidy the garden (remember the old saying about first impressions lasting)
- Have a neat entry
- Vacuum and clean the property to a presentable standard
- Don’t leave dishes in the sink or last night’s cooking on the stove
- Don’t leave clothes lying around
- Make sure beds are made in the bedrooms
- Neat and tidy bathrooms
- In cooler months, a scented candle burning can help too or the fire burning adding that the place is a “warm” place to live
3. Get your lighting right
Natural light, no matter the season or where your property is, can have a huge positive impact on a property’s perceived value. If you have it – use it! And if you don’t have it, then use clever lighting solutions to make the place feel brighter and lighter.
After all, no one wants to live in a dungeon!
And in the southern states and the winter months, the warm glow of a fire can also make a property feel much more inviting.
4. Kitchens and Bathrooms
It’s the old saying about the wet areas that have the biggest cost – and therefore the biggest impact. If you don’t have a budget to spend, ensure they are spotless.
If you are looking to improve or spend some money on your property, it’s often these 2 key areas that can/will have the biggest positive impact on securing that better valuation.
But remember – don’t overcapitalise.
5. Know your market and have comparables
If you know what goes on in your neighbourhood and you track local sales that are “comparable” to your property, have them available.
A valuer will respond in a far more positive way if you’ve done a bit of research have applied data to your estimate.
But don’t compare the massive sale of the mansion at the end of the street to your 2 bedroom apartment, sorry that’s not comparable.
6. Be realistic!
Valuers aren’t market makers like real estate agents. Their job is to assess “Fair Market Value”. This doesn’t mean they will offer hope of selling for an unrealistic price because someone told you that’s what you can sell for. No, their job is to assess based on the market and like sales of properties to yours.
Valuers can cop a raw deal here about “always being on the low side” or “they are conservative”. If you take a lot of the actions as recommended above and then you are realistic in your approach, 9 times out of 10, you’ll achieve a much better result.