- Be realistic and objective – don’t let your heart rule your head. This is business.
- Research your market – This is the cornerstone of understanding value. Take your time, talk to local agents, go to auctions and jump on the internet. Informed decisions pay off.
- Carry out a thorough inspection – measure the home's dimensions, turn on the taps, look at the stumps and walk the boundary. Look for every positive and negative you can.
- Seek independent information – estimated projections on rising values and rentals from the organisation selling you the property are worthless. Seek actual information from local independent professionals and try to substantiate any information yourself.
- Position, position and what was the other thing? Never ignore the basics. If it’s on a train line or next to an arterial road, it will be trouble. Look at the surroundings.
- Compare like with like – try and find comparables as similar as possible to the subject. These will be your beacon.
- Think like a local – if everyone in the street wants lock up car accommodation, make sure your property doesn’t buck the trend.
- Watch for overcapitalisation – a half court tennis court may seem like a good idea, but unless the owner is raising a Tomic, most buyers will find it next to worthless. Be honest about what it really adds.
- Think land, dwelling, ancillaries – breaking down the property into its parts can help you see the whole.
- Use recent comparables – if you’re using sales from a year ago when the market was booming, you are relying on false evidence. Keep it current.
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