How Properties are Evaluated

How Properties are Evaluated

Buying or selling you need to know the value of the property in questions.  That will help you to negotiate a fair price and to make some money on the sale.  While property valuations can vary knowing how properties are evaluated can help you boost the selling price of your own property.  It is also used when you want to finance or refinance your mortgage.  Here is how properties are judged.

  1. Where the property is: The local area you are in and what comparable houses are selling for near you is one of the biggest factors in determining the value of your property.  Properties in a nice urban neighborhood sell higher and faster than property in the countryside.  Are you in an up and coming neighborhood or is it on the decline.
  2. The size of your property: Bigger houses are in most cases worth more but not always.  While the number of square feet matters it also matters how the space is used.  A three bedroom house will almost always sell for more than a two bedroom even if they are the same square feet.  How your home is laid out is just as important as how big it is.
  3. Check out the comps: Comps are just comparable houses in the same area and what their selling price is. If you are selling a three bed, two bath bungalow then you want to look at recent listing and find out what others are listed at and what they sold for.
  4. How does the house show: Presentation is everything when it comes to selling your home and taking the time to make repairs and properly clean and stage your home can make a difference of thousands of dollars.  The first impression is the one that sticks with potential buyers so make sure that you present the best version of your property.
  5. Do you have curb appeal: Most home sellers focus most of their attention on the inside of their home and ignore the exterior.  You can’t afford to do that if you want top dollar for your home.  This is the first thing anyone sees when they pull up to your door.  Mow the grass, weed the garden and trim the shrubbery and keep the exterior of your property well maintained.

These are all things that an estimator or evaluator is going to look at when they are determining what your property is worth.   Can you improve on them and them and increase the value of your home?

Not All Real Estate Deals can be found on MLS

Not All Real Estate Deals can be found on MLS

When you first start out investing in real estate and looking for properties you probably head over to and start looking at the listings there.  There is no doubt that the site has the most comprehensive listings of properties on the market in your area, but it doesn’t have them all.  The first rule of investing in real estate is that property can be found anywhere and not all real estate deals can be found on MLS.  In fact most of your best deals won’t be found on MLS at all.

There are tons of small residential units that are put on multiple listing service everyday so it is always worth a look.  However the more competitive the market is the more your fighting over the properties that are listed on MLS.  If you don’t have deep pockets then competing against the big guys can seem futile.  That means you need to find another way to find deals.  Let’s talk about how you can find them.


Auctions can be hit or miss, they have some really good deals and others that are not so great.  However there is a lot less competition at an auction, bear in mind though that everyone at an auction is going to be an investor.  The other thing you have to keep in mind is that you will need cash on hand to buy property at an auction.  Not ideal for the first time buyer.

Word of Mouth

The first thing you want to do when you start your real estate investing career is to tell people about it.  Let all of your friends and family know that you are looking for property and you can even sweeten the deal by offering a reward for any properties that you close on.  You may even be able to get in there with an offer before the property is listed.

For Sale By Owner

There are a couple of different sites that list properties that the owner is selling themselves, you can check out or even CraigsList.  You will have to weed through a ton of overpriced properties in order to find something that is worth your while.  You can also check out Trulia and Zillow for houses that are being sold by their owners.

Take a Drive

As you drive around town keep an eye out for really distressed properties, you know the ones where the weeds are overgrowing and the house needs a ton of work.  It may be worth your while checking in with the owners to see if they are willing to sell.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

When it comes to real estate investments and finding a good deal, then don’t be afraid to think outside the box.  Look at more than just MLS listings for a good deal.