Property Valuations?

You Have Found Your Dream Property - but...

Q. I want to get a Home Loan - So How Does A Property Valuation Effect Me?

A. It Greatly Effects how much the Lender will lend you, and How Much Cash and/or Equity YOU will have to contribute out of your own pocket to Settle your property purchase.

Q. What is a property valuation and how do you calculate it?

In practical terms, a property is worth what someone will pay for it. But sometimes you need a ballpark figure before the negotiations get underway.  

A property valuation is a detailed report of a property’s market value, which is defined by the International Valuation Standards Council as the estimated sale price “between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without compulsion”.  

As the careful wording of that definition implies, the final sale price is usually different from the valuation contained in the report, as it’s near impossible to predict how people’s emotions, market knowledge and other motivations might affect negotiations.

Q. How is a property valuation calculated?  

A. A direct comparison with recent comparable sales forms the backbone of most residential property valuations, though valuers will also take into account the following attributes:  

  • the size of the property
  • the number and type of rooms
  • the fixtures and fittings
  • the structure and condition of the building
  • the standard of the fit-out and the property’s architectural style ease of access to the property
  • planning restrictions and local council zoning
  • the property’s location and level of amenity
  • the size of the land
  • the aspect, topography and layout of the block  

First, valuers use a handful of recent comparable sales to give them a ballpark figure for the property in question, and then they make adjustments to that figure based on any significant differences found between the above attributes of the properties.  

“The sales are analysed in terms of land attributes, improvements, location and planning controls… [and are then] compared to the particular property being valued. 

However, other property types can require different approaches. For example, commercial property requires more financial analysis and development sites can require more planning consultancy. 

Valuers will usually visit the property in question, so that they can assess the condition of the building and make a note of any structural faults and nuances that might affect its market value. Most will then provide the customer with a standard report of their findings within two or three days of their visit.

Q. What is the difference between a property appraisal and a property valuation?  

A. Unlike valuations that MUST be conducted by a qualified & licenced valuer, appraisals by real estate agents have no legal standing and should only be considered as a guide to pricing.  

Agents will offer an appraisal of your property as a FREE Service, especially when trying to win your business. They base their informal valuation on recent sales in the area and their experience in the current marketplace. BE CAREFUL, as some unscrupolous agents will appraise your property at a HIGHER price to win your business, but as soon as they start marketing your property start "working" you over to condition you to accept a much lower price than they appraised the property at - so they can sell your property quicker to get their fee from you.  

Licensed valuers, on the other hand, charge a fee for their service. They are legally responsible for the information they provide and so must base their appraisal on facts. Consequently, their valuations are more comprehensive than a real estate agent’s appraisal.  

Q. Can I do something to increase my house value?  

A. In most cases - YES!

  • You can’t change your property’s location but you can make changes to the house. Think about a renovation or extending the floor area of the house: can you add a bathroom, bedroom or entertaining area? What about improving your indoor-outdoor flow?
  • Make sure the property is well presented: can you tidy up the garden, or remove any untidy trees or structures? Are their any views that can be taken advantage of, or can you make vehicle access easier?
  • Give your important rooms – the bathroom and kitchen – a mini makeover. It can often be fairly cost-effective to update the cabinetry, bench top, light fittings and fixtures, too. Even a quick lick of paint can do wonders for the property’s overall look and feel. 
  • Does your home have covered areas for vehicles? If not, could you add a carport or garage?
  • Give your property a general tidy up, and be mindful of your property’s curb appeal, as this will greatly influence a buyer’s first impression. If your block and house looks neat and tidy from the street, it is likely to benefit the valuation.
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What Costs Are Involved in Getting A Home loan


We all know that buying a home involves a big financial outlay, but few of us are aware of just how big the "Bill" can run to. Here’s how to prepare for the costs ahead.  

Federal and State governments may be handing out incentives left, right and centre, but this doesn’t mean that you no longer need to prepare properly before buying a home.  

The costs involved in buying a property can go all the way up to 11% of the purchase price for some people. If you have a $44,000 deposit for your $400,000 home, that’s your entire deposit spent on costs - and nothing on the ctual deposit needed!

I usually advise buyers who are owner occupiers to allow for (as a quick rule of thumb) 6% of contract price for all the costs associated with buying the property.

Buying a house isn’t just about paying what’s on the property’s price tag. There are some extra costs all buyers should be aware of.  

Q. So how much are these "hidden" costs anyway?  

A. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it all depends on the value of your property and where it’s located.  

For example, if you want to buy a home in Queensland that’s valued at $500,000, you can reasonably expect to pay the following:  

Costs not included in the above example, include your due diligence costs - council searches - zoning, flood, contaminated land registers, etc; building & pest inspections by qualified engineers; quantity survey (if required). Lenders' Mortgage insurance costs if your deposit is less than 20% also need to be paid for either in cash or by adding to your loan amount.

Terms Involved:

Stamp duty A government fee based on the property value. It varies based on the type of loan you need and the state or territory you're buying a property in.  

Mortgage fee A government fee to register the home loan on the title of the property. It varies based on the state or territory you're buying a property in.  

Transfer fee A government fee for the transfer of the property's title from one person to another. It varies based on the state or territory you're buying a property in.  

First home owner grant A one-off payment from the government to first home owners who are eligible. It varies based on the state or territory you're buying a property in.  

Conveyancing Solicitors or conveyancers help with documentation and settlement. These fees can vary.

Lenders' mortgage insurance (LMI) LMI is insurance that a lender (such as a bank or financial institution) takes out to insure itself against the risk of not recovering the full loan balance should you, the borrower, be unable to meet your loan payments. It is important to understand LMI covers the lender, not you (or any guarantor). LMI provides consumers with a benefit as it allows lenders to provide home loans to those who otherwise meet their lending requirements but who may still be rejected for a loan because they do not have a 20% deposit.  

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