Understanding the true value of a property can save you from paying too much. Make sure you do your own research, and consider hiring a property valuer.
Real estate agents can give you figures on past sales in the area. Alternatively, you could use the SmartMaps service. This can give you some general advice about property values in the area.
- what properties have sold in the area
- how much they sold for
- when they were bought and sold
- what size and dimensions the properties are.
This service has details for most houses, units and townhouses in Queensland. You must pay a fee to access it.
Hiring a property valuer
One of the best options to understand a home’s true value is to hire a property valuer. They will give you a written report that sets out how they reach their conclusion.
A valuation considers:
- past sale prices
- trends and forecasts.
- upcoming projects in the area.
Try to find an independent valuer, and not one connected to the seller or their agent (a ‘referred valuer’). If you do choose to use a referred valuer, make sure you are aware of the relationship between the valuer and the seller.
Make sure you use a valuer registered with the Valuers Registration Board.
Instructing the valuer
You will need to set out details about yourself, the property and your agreement with the valuer.
You will need to give the valuer:
- your name and contact details
- who the valuer is to represent (in most cases this will be you)
- why you’re getting the valuation.
The valuer will need to know:
- the type of property (such as vacant land, house and land, unit, townhouse)
- the street address
- the legal description of the property (if you know it)
- the contact person for access to the property
- the seller’s asking or contract price (and a copy of the contract)
- the price to base the valuation on (usually market value, unless you specifically want it to be based on some other value).
Your instructions form the basis of your contract with the valuer. You will need to include details of:
- what fee and payment method you agreed upon
- what date you want them to do the valuation
- when you want the valuation report by
- how you want the report sent to you (such as email, post, courier or fax)
- who else can access or view the report.
The valuer’s report
The valuer’s report should contain all the information you’ve asked for. It may also include:
- the summary
- the land and title
- the property’s location (and a map)
- certificate of title
- site description and if it is already connected to basic utilities
- town planning information
- any environmental matters
- their comments
- basis of valuation, including rationale and sales evidence
- a market review (or summary)
- the final valuation
- their qualifications and disclaimers.
There is no set fee for property valuation. You should negotiate with your valuer before they start work.