Archive for the 'Home Valuation' Category

Determining a property’s list price can be hard at the best of times, but when the real estate market is constantly shifting, it’s even trickier. In today’s rocky Canadian housing market, how do you establish a house price?

With increasing interest rates, new Canadian mortgage rules, and a record-high level of Canadian household debt, setting a list price might feel a little like shooting in the dark. But having a good understanding of your target market, the area where you’re selling, and using technology to your advantage can make the process a lot easier.

  1. Look at Comparable Sales and Listings

Understanding the Canadian real estate market is your best bet to establishing a list price, even in rocky economic times. Pulling data of every similar home in the neighbourhood that was listed in the past three months can give you a good idea of what other houses are selling for.

If you’re pulling comparables, also keep in mind:

  • The distance — your search shouldn’t be too broad unless you’re selling in a more suburban or rural area.
  • Neighbourhood dividing lines and barriers, such as railways, a major road, a highway, etc.
  • Similar square footage.
  • Similar home age.

When you’re assessing comparable listings, also question the sales history. How many days were they on the market? Compare the original list price to the final sales price and the final sales price to the actual sold price.

The GeoWarehouse Comparable Sales report can give you this information at your fingertips.

  1. Look at the Property’s Sales History

How much has this house sold for in the past? Whatever the results are, file them away with a grain of salt. Remember, the housing market might have been completely different then, but it is still valuable information to know.

The GeoWarehouse Property Details report contains a detailed sales history that will help with your decision.

  1. Consider the Neighbourhood Desirability

Is this an up-and-coming location? Is it close to schools and parks? Is it near a highway or busy road? These can all play a role in how you price the home and can make a less attractive property more appealing and a more attractive property less appealing.

GeoWarehouse Aerial Imagery can give you a birds-eye-view look at the neighbourhood that you can show potential buyers.

  1. Honestly Assess the Property Value

Different tools can give you an appraisal of the property’s worth. For instance, with GeoWarehouse you can access the Property Details report, which includes Land Registry information and MPAC assessment data. When you have a value in mind, compare it with the comparable sales and honestly assess the property you are looking at.

  1. Know Your Target Market

Where do your leads come from? What types of marketing do you have in place and what might work for this property? If you’re not sure, this could be a sign that you need to do more research. Tools like the GeoWarehouse Demographics Report can help you identify important neighbourhood information, such as the age distribution, average household income, and more. Every property is different of course but understanding your potential buyers can go a long way towards establishing list price.

The other factor to consider are the changing market conditions themselves. Analysis such as the Teranet Market Insights report can give you an idea of what types of properties are selling where and an overview of the Canadian housing market as a whole.

The next time you’re trying to establish house prices for listing, access all of GeoWarehouse’s reports, images, and data at www.geowarehouse.ca and find out how you can become a subscriber.

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Working with appraisers is a big part of any real estate professional’s job, and while we’re always talking about how to leverage the resources available through an automated valuation model (AVM), appraisers can play an important role in the process.

AVM reports can be used to mitigate risk by confirming value, ownership and other factors quickly and efficiently. However, that doesn’t mean the appraiser is out of the picture! What are the key differences with automated valuation model vs appraisal? How does each one work? Better yet, how do they work together?

Let’s take a look at each and how combining both an appraisal and an AVM can maximize potential and minimize risk.

First, an AVM is just that – it’s automated and does not involve an on-site property inspection. AVMs estimate property value by comparing and analyzing property characteristics against public record data. While an AVM can’t review interior and exterior property conditions, some include street view imagery that can help identify issues with exterior conditions, such as property boundary discrepancies. It’s great to leverage automation and historical data analysis to generate the latest information on pricing and ownership and create a big picture report.

The main difference between an automated valuation model versus an appraiser is that an appraiser can look at both the interior and exterior condition in greater detail than any AVM. They also have a more intimate knowledge about sales of comparable properties in close proximity to the property in question.

What are some of the things working with appraisers can bring to the table that you can’t get with an automated valuation report? An appraiser can…

  1. Tell you if the house is really there! A computer can’t drive by a house to see if it’s actually located where it’s supposed to be, is the actual house it claims to be, or even if it has a roof.
  2. Advise if unique property features might add to or detract from market value. An AVM can only provide an estimated value; it can’t account for nearby amenities that may impact value, such as schools or railroad tracks, for example.
  3. Clarify what makes the comparables comparable. A computer can’t find out why a property is on the market, for example.
  4. Provide more info on the local sales market trends than an AVM can.
  5. Find out if there is a conflict of interest.

Finally, an appraisal is completed by a human, which can make all the difference in closing a deal.

Sure, AVMs are less expensive than on-site appraisals, and saving money is one key factor in their appeal. Plus with the resources an AVM has to offer immediately available at the click of a mouse, they also save busy real estate sales professionals time

Appraisals are based on the knowledge and opinions of a trusted, professional appraiser who has experience on their side. While the objectivity of AVMs aren’t prone to human error or bias, they can’t provide the level of detail and experience that an appraiser can bring to the transaction. Instead, they offer you the ability to get accurate, objective, data-driven numbers, something you can’t get from an appraiser.

At the end of the day, the convenience of AVMs is great, but they become even more powerful when coupled with an onsite appraisal. When the deal looks viable, you can’t go wrong by combining the resources and information provided by both an appraisal and an AVM.

With an AVM, you can quickly confirm basics such as financing challenges, property value and property title issues. Once you feel confident enough to proceed, you can then call in an appraisal to confirm the details and raise any issues on the property conditions an AVM cannot perform.

Coupling the powerful resources of a program that uses AVM technology, such as GeoWarehouse, with working with appraisers can help you mitigate significant risk on deals. By beginning with an AVM report you can quickly determine if an in-person, on-site appraisal is even required.

Haven’t you heard about GeoWarehouse? It’s a powerful program that thousands of real estate sales professionals are using to help mitigate risk. You can learn more at www.geowarehouse.ca.

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April 4, 2016

geo2One very interesting aspect of your job is the process of working with homeowners to know what their home is worth. We are not just talking in scenarios of listings either. Many real estate sales professionals have realized that knowing one’s home value is valuable to consumers and a sales tool. Real estate sales professionals are using home value to go out and talk to clients about selling their home.

Technology has made this so easy because you don’t have to sift through, selecting your own comparables anymore. Your applications can do that for you. When we say applications we mean your apps – like the MLS, GeoWarehouse and ViMO.

Sales comparables present so much value over and above assessing list values. They are an amazing sales opportunities. They can be used to create dialogue that leads to discussions and discussions lead to relationships.

Sometimes, customers think their home is worth more than what it is realistically, which is why home valuation presents value to them. This often starts with a neighbour saying – yeah I just listed my home (at a value way higher than market), then the client thinks ‘wow, my home must be worth that too’. On the reverse, you can provide value to a client who thinks their home is worth less than it is by showing them what counts, property sales in the area. Not just 1 or 2 sales comparables either – using your apps you can look at all comparable sales in the area if you want and generate averages.

How about the consumer who has no idea what their home is worth? The one that you stun when their home comes in at a way higher value than they thought it ever would. These can present huge opportunity because money talks and learning that selling means you could cash in big time creates motivation to sell.

These are all conversations and your sales comparables and home valuation tools are what make you able to have these conversations.

The consumer of today wants value. They are willing to exchange their personal information and consent to market to them for value. Value isn’t a gift card or contest – value is giving them something they really want. You have what they really want, you just have to show them that you do. Approach using home valuation in your marketing with a plan so that you know what you get each time you help someone understand their home value – for example, do you want to get their email, their phone number? Have a plan and follow it through – you have the value you just need to use it.

For more about home valuation made easy, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

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