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How to get your house valued?

free evaluation, how to evaluate the value and price of a house

Table of contents

Before estimating the price of your home, it is important to understand the different notions of value and price.

Real or intrinsic value: The value of a new house minus the depreciation related to the age and condition of the house. The value of the land must be added to obtain the real value.  

Market value: Corresponds to the market value, i.e. the price at which a similar property can be sold. In order to calculate the market value it is necessary to compare houses with similar characteristics in the same town and define the price that corresponds to the current real estate market.

Yield value: Corresponds to the rental value of a property when it is put up for rent. It is therefore a question of estimating the annual yield that can be received from a rental property. 

Collateral value: Corresponds to the value of the loan in advance, i.e. the amount that an organisation such as a bank or insurance company agrees to lend for a mortgage loan. 

Selling price: The price at which the seller is willing to sell his house. This price will be displayed on his real estate ad. The seller will have to define this selling price based on the real value of his property and by comparing the current real estate price in order to facilitate the sale of his house. 

Transaction price: Price defined once the seller and the buyer have agreed on the final amount after negotiation. It will therefore be the price at which the house will have been sold and may be different from the original selling price.

Estimate your house yourself

evaluate my house myself

The estimate of his house based on the price per sqm of his municipality

The price per sqm of a city is the average of all the prices per sqm of real estate in a city. When looking for a price per m² it is therefore important to specify whether you are looking for the price per m² of an apartment or a house, as the two prices are very different.

In the case of RealAdvisor, they differentiate the price per m² of houses and the price per m² of apartments. Their database takes into account the real estate offers of 14 Swiss real estate portals, which allows them to calculate the most reliable price per m² on the market by city, but also by postcode and neighbourhood.

In the case of the average price per m² for a house in the Jonction - Plainpalais district in Geneva, it is currently CHF 10,833.

You will then have to multiply this price per m² by the surface area of your house and you will have an idea of the average price of your house.

Analysis of the real estate market

compare the price of other homes in my city

One of the most accessible methods to evaluate one's home and analyze similar homes for sale. You can find out about the selling prices of houses in your neighbourhood. If a house on your street was sold for CHF 1,000,000, you can use this price to determine your own.

You can then compare the main features of this house with yours based on the main features of both houses as:

  • The surface area of the house
  • The surface of the land
  • The year of construction
  • The number of bedrooms and bathroom
  • Additional areas: garage, cellar, attic, parking lot.
  • Other facilities: terrace, balcony, veranda, swimming pool

The larger your surface area and facilities are, the more the value of your property will increase. On the other hand, if the house sold was built in 1990 and yours was built in 1950, your house will have much less value because a property loses value over the years.

You can make these comparisons easily on real estate listing sites. By selecting houses in your town and with similar characteristics. The results will provide you with a price range. You will refine your price by getting closer to the selling price of the house most similar to yours. It is also important to note that if a house has already been on sale for a year, it is possible that its selling price is overestimated, so you will have to adjust your selling price taking this into account.

Estimate your home online for free

appraise my house online for free

The estimating tools have access to a database of several thousand houses that are currently for sale, but also to prices from transactions that have recently taken place. The larger their database, the more accurate their estimates will be.

Note that if your home has rare features, it will be difficult to provide an accurate estimate because the number of similar properties will be too small to make a comparison. In the case of a unique property such as a chateau or luxury home the ideal would be to have your home professionally appraised.

To get your online estimate, you must enter:

  • Your address
  • The year of construction
  • The number of rooms
  • The surface of the house
  • The surface of the land

Your house will then be compared to all houses sold and currently for sale and the tool will provide you with an amount that is consistent with the real estate market price.

Have your house appraised by a real estate professional

appraisal of my house by a real estate expert or agent

Contrary to popular belief, an estimate by a professional is not necessarily paid for and perhaps without commitment. Indeed, you can contact an agent to estimate your house for free, he will be paid only if you accept that he helps you sell your house. If he concludes the transaction he will be entitled to a percentage equal to about 3 or 5% of the amount of the transaction.

The advantage of using a real estate expert and his experience but above all his knowledge of the local market. He will be able to take into account all the elements related to the location and the development or improvement projects in the city that can considerably increase the value of your home. He will also analyze certain documents for the most accurate estimate, such as the results of the technical diagnostics of your house for example.

See here: the complete list of documents needed for a home appraisal.

Finally, he will also be able to give you some advice on how to enhance the value of your home, such as renovations that are essential for the sale.

What are the elements impacting the price of the house?

The different types of houses

price of a semi-detached house, joint or detached house

All the houses are unique and have a different market value, on the same street a semi-detached house will have a lower price than a semi-detached house at the end of the street.

It is therefore important to take into account all the specific characteristics associated with a house:

  • Semi-detached house: A house where the neighbours' walls are attached to yours, there is no space between the houses. There is a risk of hearing the neighbours' footsteps, the noise of the television or the entrances and exits. The second disadvantage is the lack of natural light since the only windows are those on the façade. When several houses are attached to each other, they may apply a PPE model as in an apartment. This is the case if they have to share common expenses, two houses that share the same boiler, the same electricity system will have to share the bills equally. This distribution is disadvantageous for the one who consumes the least. 

  • Joint house: A house that has only one wall adjoining that of the neighbours. This results in better soundproofing and more light. There is also a risk of burden-sharing but this is less likely, so this is a point to check before buying the house. 

  • Detached houses: These are the most popular because they are completely detached from neighbouring houses and allow more privacy than semi-detached or semi-detached house. 

Semi-detached or semi-detached house deters thieves more than a detached house. This advantage is not important enough to add value but can be an asset for those looking for more security. 

A semi-detached house is therefore generally more valuable than a semi-detached house. And a detached house has more value than a semi-detached house.

Mandatory diagnoses

mandatory real esatate diagnosis for selling a house

Some diagnoses are mandatory and have a strong impact on the price of the house.

  • Diagnosis of asbestos: For houses built before 1970, it is mandatory to make this diagnosis because the vast majority of houses built before 1970 necessarily have asbestos. This diagnosis is the responsibility of the seller, if the house contains asbestos, the necessary steps will have to be taken to remove it. The seller can take care of the work or he can sell it as it is, the necessary work will, therefore, be to reduce the selling price of the house.

  • Energetic diagnosis: It is a matter of analysing the energy consumption of the house if the diagnosis presents bad results it will lower the price of the house. Here again, the seller can take the initiative to replace the heating or gas system with a more modern and less energy-consuming system to readjust the price of his house.

External factors not to be overlooked

House appraisal
  • Municipal taxes: In a city where municipal tax rates are very low, demand can increase very quickly because many people are looking to move there. It is the increase in demand that will automatically increase the price of houses because the city is very coveted.

  • The projects/construction of the city: It is important to be close to transport, public services, schools and shops. These houses are much more popular than a property that is far away from the city centre, a train station or a bus stop. But it is also important to pay attention to the city's plans. If the city or region is planning to build a new highway, a new train station, new subway lines, the value of your home will probably be higher in a few years. You will be able to use this argument when selling, buying the house will be a good long-term investment for the buyer.

  • Negotiation:  During negotiations, a buyer usually offers a price that is about 10% lower than the sale price. The seller can, therefore, afford to raise the selling price slightly above the market value if he is not in a hurry. Otherwise, if he wants to sell it quickly he can put it at the market price or even lower and indicate that the price is non-negotiable.

Differentiate between habitable and non-habitable space

Not all areas of a house have the same value and cannot be added in the calculation of the price per m².

  • Net living area: This includes the entire surface of the house except for the elements considered as not habitable:
    - The walls
    - The spaces between the stairs
    - The outside spaces (terraces, balcony).
  • Gross living area: The entire surface of the house including walls, balcony and terrace is taken into account.

When calculating your price, it is therefore important to check which surface should be taken into account. The gross area is usually 10% higher than the net living area.

In the cantons of Neuchâtel, Fribourg and Vaud, for example, the surface area to be used and the net living area, whereas in Valais it is the gross living area that applies.

The areas considered as habitable:

  • Balcony / loggia: Only half of its surface is to be added to the living area.
  • The terrace: Only a third of its surface is to be added to the living space.
  • Basement: Must be heated, receive a minimum of 10% natural light, in this case the entire surface is to be taken into account.
  • A veranda/conservatory: To be considered only if heated.
  • A mezzanine: Its height must be more than 130 or 150 cm (cantonal specificities reserved).
  • The attic: To be taken into account only if the floor is laid out, the heated surface, has an independent access and the height is higher than 130 or 150 cm.
  • Cellar and attic: Are not considered habitable but as an added value only.
    Parking space: Considered as an added value only.

FAQ

The garden generally represents 60% of the land surface, the house represents 40%. If your land is constructible, it will necessarily be more expensive than a non-constructible land. For a promoter, it will take into account 100% of the value of the land only, because his goal will be to raze the house and build on it. For a private individual, the fact of being able to enlarge his house will be a very interesting value-added.

You can add the price of the installation of the swimming pool to the value of the house if it is recent and well maintained. The value of the pool will decrease depending on the year of construction and its condition.

A house loses about 0.5% of its replacement value each year. If a house was built in 1940, in 2020 the house will have lost 40% of its value. 40 years later, a house that cost CHF 500,000 in 1940 will have a value of approximately CHF 300,000.

You can use your invoices with the detailed work to add to the value of the house. If the work was carried out in 2010 and had cost CHF 30,000, the depreciation linked to the past 10 years will have to be reduced again. Knowing that a house loses approximately 0.5% of its value each year, in 2020 the work loses 5% of its value, you will have to add CHF 28,500 to the price of the house instead of CHF 30,000.