Like the three ghosts of Christmas, you will be faced with three evaluators when you put your property on the market - a real estate agent, an appraiser from a financial institution, and, finally, your local government. But, what do they all mean, and which number is the one you ought to be worrying about?
“The process of a property transaction can be somewhat confusing for first-time sellers. To simplify it, the only number which sellers ought to concern themselves over is the evaluation that their real estate agent offers them. The other two values play more minor roles in the overall transaction,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
But, for those curious to know the meaning behind them, he explains the mystery behind the two other figures that will appear in sellers’ lives:
1. General valuation roll
Based on geographical information and recent sales in your suburb, the city uses a computer aided mass appraisal (CAMA) system to determine the values of all properties. This is the value your local government uses in order to determine what rates you will pay on the property, and does not reflect the market value of the specific features your home might have.
These figures are released once every four years and are published online on the various local municipal websites. Homeowners then have the opportunity to check the value and object to it if they disagree with the reflected amount. This figure rarely (if ever) comes up during the selling process. However, an estate agent might check their own valuation against this amount before presenting a client with a number.
2. Appraisal value
If the buyer is applying for a home loan to purchase your property, a representative from their chosen financial institution will come and inspect your property to ensure that it is worth the bonded amount. This value is not necessarily something that gets shared with you, but is simply a part of a bank’s checks and balances process when screening a bond application.
3. Valuation or comparative market analysis
This is the number a real estate agent will present to you as the price at which you should market your home. This number is based on various factors, including the features and location of your property, recent sale prices of similar homes in your area, market trends and years of industry experience, to name but a few of the factors. It is advisable to do your research and choose an agent with a proven track record whose advice you know you can trust, and who will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA).
“Don’t allow yourself to get duped into signing a mandate with an agent based purely on the highest price presented. You’ll find yourself sitting with an overpriced property that won’t move, locked into a lengthy mandate with an agent who will almost certainly be knocking on your door in due course to get you to reduce the asking price,” says Goslett.
“Ultimately, you’ll probably arrive at the same lower number as other agents initially presented to you, but now you have lost valuable time and first-mover advantage. If your home sits on the market for too long, it has the opposite effect and drives buyers away, their perception being that there may be something wrong with the property.”
“Selling a property shouldn’t be a difficult process. If it is, then it’s likely that you have partnered with the wrong estate agent. Professional estate agents are there to help you through every step of the process," says Goslett. "If you’re being left in the dark and are unsure about the various processes involved, it might be time to enlist the help of another agent.”
original article here