Question: I’d like some advice on how to get the best valuation on my house that I’m planning to sell this year. What are the kinds of things that valuers look at that I could work on to help my case? Obviously I can’t change what city, suburb and street that it’s in, but are there some changes that I can do to the house itself to improve the valuation? If I was to renovate one room for example, which is the most important one to renovate that will impress the valuer when he comes around to inspect?” 

Answer: There are many factors that contribute to a property’s value, the most influential of which is the land component. Other important factors include architectural style and uniqueness, design and layout, potential for future development or renovation, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the quality of fixtures and fittings. 

When valuing a property a qualified property valuer will consider: 

The land size, the aspect or views afforded by the property and the topography and layout of the block and house: If seeking to capitalise, one aspect property owners might consider is clearing unwanted trees, shrubs and structures that may obscure views or access. 

The size and layout of the building: The most popular way to increase the value of a property is to renovate or extend. These can often be feasible and cost effective ways to add considerable value to a property. It is also becoming increasingly poplar to build additional developments on a property including townhouses or units. 

Generally, the best way of adding value to a property is to increase the physical floor space, particularly with regard to the addition of bedrooms, a second bathroom and/or a modern kitchen.  

The architectural style of the dwelling: In inner-city localities Victorian and Edwardian style properties are very popular and highly sought. If you have a property of this kind or of a similar unique nature it is important to renovate and maintain the property to original and authentic architectural style. Many people will spend thousands of dollars restoring these historic properties to their original style and design with quality workmanship and material. 

The condition and state of repair of the property: A property that is neat, well maintained and in good repair is likely to benefit from a more favourable valuation. Properties laden with debris and rubbish both internally and externally may not achieve the greatest potential valuation figure as valuers may take into consideration the cost of having to clean up the property in preparation for sale. 

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms: As well as assessing condition, a valuer will also assess the features and facilities of a property. In particular, well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms can add significant value to a property. 

However, it is important for buyers to be recognise when they are overcapitalising. The cost of the changes made should not exceed the value they add to the property. There is no value in spending money on renovating, extending or developing a property if you are not going to recapture that amount in “added value”. 

  • Answer provided by Greville Pabst, CEO and co-director of WBP Property Group (www.wbpproperty.com)