How to buy a property without a price guide

Determining what you should
actually pay for a property is one of the biggest challenges of investing. Here
are four tips to help you determine what it’s really worth.

Understanding the value of a
property can be your most important negotiation tool when buying. In November
last year, the Queensland government abolished price guides on auction
properties in an effort to stamp out underquoting. Outside of Queensland, many
buyers are feeling frustrated, missing out on properties that sell far above
quoted price guides.

Most buyers only ever buy one or
two properties in a lifetime.

As a certified practicing valuer,
I know that determining what a property is worth can be a difficult task even
for the most seasoned professional.

Failure to do the proper due
diligence, will leave buyers either missing out or seriously overpaying for a
property that will take years to achieve a return on investment.

Here are my tips for determining
what a property is worth:

1. Know the neighbourhood

Make sure you narrow your
property search to three suburbs. By limiting your search, you will be better
able to understand the suburb, planned infrastructure and better streets.

2. Don’t compare asking prices

Don’t compare private treaty
asking prices in the area. Only compare factual sales data. Make sure you are
comparing like-for-like houses and personally view the homes that have recently

3. Value the property as it is today

Make sure you value the property
in the current market, not what it might be worth in the future. Many people
overpay for property by factoring in the unrealised returns based on possible
renovations or capital growth. This only eats into your profits.

4. Consider qualified advice

How qualified is the advice
you’re listening to? Don’t just talk to your local real estate agent, consider
engaging a professional to conduct a fair market valuation.

These are very different to your
local real estate’s CMA which is just a computer generated report estimating
what a property could possibly fetch based on historical sales data.

Understanding what a property is
worth can be your most powerful negotiation tool when buying property. Don’t
miss out or regret poor judgement simply because you weren’t informed.