Brisbane's sales market

What's my property worth?

Looking ahead to the new year you might be considering selling your home or investment, wondering what the true value would be. With so much info at your fingertips it’s tempting to Google around a bit and find the answer yourself. And yes, we’re real estate agents, and we want you to ask us to help.

But consider this: You might check your symptoms by Dr Googling when that nasty itch or blister won’t go away. But you always go to the real live doctor for info you can rely on!

It’s a fair question – Aren’t all the recent comparable sales in my neighbourhood online and isn’t that all the agent will check? If 3 apartments in my building have sold recently won’t that give me a really close price guide? You can find a lot of this info on the various websites, free and pay per report. But there’s a lot it doesn’t tell you.

Firstly the confirmed, solid, absolute sales data can take up to 3 months to be tabled by the Department of Natural Resources. Unless the agent made the sales themselves they cannot know for sure what the exact price was of a more recent sale. And in a rising market this info is golden.

When we mark a property as sold in the back end of our online platforms it will ask us for a sale price. The data providers offer agents Ipads and other bribes to cough up the numbers because they know their value of these stats, to you and other agents, property valuers, bank managers etc. But unless the agent is willing that box often goes unfilled. Or worse, some software will report the listing price as the sold price unless the agent overrides it. Similarly the property details themselves are simply ‘scraped’ from the portals and are often wide of the mark. Where you might think you’re seeing a record of a 3 bed home, it may well be a 2 bed that’s been misreported.

So be cautious of those recent sales prices on the data sites. My guess is up to 50% of them are inaccurate when I’m doing an inner-Brisbane market report.

Then, most importantly, there’s the info a sales database can’t tell you. The small ‘stuff’ that adds up to a big difference. The aspect with western sun pouring into the living spaces. Views – good and bad. Extra rooms that don’t make the ‘beds, baths, cars’ summary but make a huge difference in price. Poor layouts. Problem building issues or body corp dilemmas. The reported family sales where the value is not true to market.

Finding a value can be simplified if you see your property as a pyramid, with the large base your location. The next chunk up is the size of your property, including beds, baths, cars. Then the tip of the pyramid is the condition of your improvements. It’s an easy way to see most real estate and it can help. What it doesn’t do is see the fine detail that can add up to make a big difference in your price.

An experienced agent will know many of the recent sales. They’ll have heard countless buyers’ comments and know where value is placed by each local market. And a great agent will be able to see the hidden treasure under the pyramid!