Don't get burnt by data reports

Don't get burnt by data reports

House hunters who rely on data reports are likely to get burnt.  These reports generally note land size, sale price, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and parking spaces. If you rely on this very limited information to assess the noted properties in the report against one you're keen on in order to determine its value then there is a very real possibility you will end up more confused.  

Like anything a little bit of information can be a dangerous thing especially in inexperienced hands.

Just some of the things these reports fail to tell you is the configuration of the floor plan, room sizes, the shape of the block and the slope of the block.  You won’t know if it’s renovated, partly renovated or unrenovated.  They fail to list the age of the property, it’s construction materials and they don't tell you if the house is at the front, back or middle of the block let alone whether the property is on the high side or low side of the street, if the back yard is private or looked in upon, if it has a view, the aspect or how much natural light the property gets. 

Data reports have been used for decades to complement the knowledge and research of experienced local selling agents and buyers agents when assessing the value of property. Many of the properties listed in the reports are often properties that experienced selling agents and buyers agents have actually inspected at some point so it can assist them without confusing them. 

In short they know which properties are genuine comparables to the one you’re selling or looking to buy and which ones aren't.  Without a lot more knowledge about a property than its land size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car parking spaces the reports are going to be virtually useless and at best confusing. 

Unfortunately more and more people who are time poor are relying on them in order to shorten the time it takes to search for and assess the value of a property.

The reality is without comprehensive research and detailed awareness of value buyers are going to be influenced by the asking price or "price guide" provided by the selling agent. And with price guides and asking prices commonly ranging from as much as 30%, sometimes even more, over fair value to 10% under what a property is worth they'll end up either paying over the odds or be unable to confidently recognise a great deal when it's staring them in the face. For these people buying well is more down to luck. 

If you want to buy a great property at a great price then you need to take the property buying process seriously and give the job the time and focus that’s required. To gain a detailed understanding of this process and save yourself ten's of thousands (not to mention avoiding dozens of commonly made expensive mistakes) grab a copy of the 3rd edition of my best selling book "The Insider's Guide to Buying Real Estate" by clicking here.  

Of course if you don’t have the time, you would be wise to get professional assistance just as any switched on person would.

I recently wrote a more detailed article on this issue for Property Observer – if you’d like to take a look at it then click here.