ARE ONLINE EVALUATIONS RELIABLE?
A few weeks after moving into a new property, a real estate agency offered me an online appraisal service. This is how my house, which was not quite finished, had already doubled in value! I like good news but this one was a little too good to believe!
After having had the opportunity to test other online assessment models, 9 questions arise.
1 / How do the algorithms work?
Each assessment is “confidential”; algorithms, i.e. those programs that process your data in order to give it financial value, are not explained so as not to be copied. Consequently, we do not know:
- What importance is assigned to each evaluation criterion?
- How is it decided if one criterion has more weight than another?
2 / Where do the comparison prices come from?
Is my property compared to advertised property or property that has been sold? Does the online system take into account the prices advertised on real estate advertising platforms or the prices signed at the notary? There are no published recorded prices for homes that are purchased off-plan so on what basis are the appraisals of these particular properties made?
How often are updates processed to incorporate new sales?
3 / How to trust the imputed information?
The running of the evaluation system generates many questions, but the use that the vendor makes of it generates just as many ... How to guarantee the veracity of the imputed data? At some point, does the user not have the opportunity to embellish a little their property from which they wish to generate maximum benefit?
What qualifies a property in good condition?
4 / How many prospects know how to measure accurately?
The distinction between habitable m2 and non-habitable m2 as well as the definition of measurable m2 are often poorly understood and m2 then poorly calculated. How to ensure the accuracy of the imputed m2? How to measure a terrace which offers you an “additional living space”?
5 / How to evaluate objectively the work to be done?
A great classic issue in any evaluation! How much does an owner-seller estimate for the work to be done knowing that he/she is used to his/her environment and that, by dint of seeing its defects, he/she does no longer notice them and therefore tends to minimize them.
6 / What about a decor that is not to everyone's taste?
Another great classic issue! It is difficult for an owner-seller to accept that a buyer is not a fan of his/her interior, to which he/she places great yet often disproportionate value.
7 / Information not available / not shown?
What about data not filled in or incorrectly filled in? How do they affect the overall rating? Online systems prefer to give you an assessment at all costs rather than issuing reservations and conditions for breach.
8 / What are the expectations once the assessment has been calculated?
Difficult to make a lower counter-evaluation when the owner-seller has already received a 1st estimated sum and that it has visualised what can be achieved with it. The 2nd agent assessor therefore becomes the wrong one whatever he/she says.
9 / The valuation of a property is an important step before it is put on the market. Then what?
The establishment of a marketing strategy is just as important because it measures the potential competition that the property in question would face. Whether the property is in competition with 10 similar goods or only 1 or 2, is a game changer. The more competition your property has, the more complicated the sale can be and the more your business strategy must adapt, starting with the price. Although essential, this aspect is rarely filled in in an online assessment.
At Monde Avenir, we have tried to make precise evaluations without having to travel. Even with the photos of the property in hand, the work is difficult, the notion of volume is often distorted by photos that do not "render" correctly. And then we are not always shown all of the building.
We therefore prefer:
- To go and see for ourselves in situ,
- To use our evaluation method established from 26 criteria and from 3 different angles of perspective for an evaluation as meticulous as we are!
- To provide you with the details of our evaluations in writing so as to discuss them with you in complete transparency,
- To give you the opportunity to share them with your banks and your lawyers because we know that our evaluations are admissible with your partners.
EXCLUSIVE MANDATE VS SIMPLE MANDATE / SHARING
Exclusive mandate or shared/simple mandate: we talk about it again and yet, when it relates to residential real estate, the choice is simple...
A real estate agent will invest more time and effort when mandated exclusively, because he does not take the risk of getting involved with no guarantee of success, and because he will not be distracted by the actions of other agencies with which he is in competition,
He then concentrates entirely on the property and the service he provides.
- Ads are more polished, better written, better documented,
- The marketing strategy is more elaborate,
- The time granted to both parties is much more generous, the seller is better informed, the prospects are better qualified,
- Negotiations with the buyer and the conclusion of the transaction go more smoothly.
First of all, when there is no competition, within the framework of an exclusive mandate, the evaluation of your property is more objective. It is not biased by the agent's need to secure a commission at all costs and therefore by his need to position himself more advantageously than other agencies by announcing a higher but potentially less realistic selling price.
With an exclusive mandate and an estimate closer to reality, your sale is therefore faster. It's also simpler: a single point of contact, a single person with whom to share technical data, a single point of contact with whom to organize visits and negotiations. If the market forces you to review the marketing strategy applied so far, the sole agent can discuss it with the seller and they can quickly decide together on the evolution of the marketing campaign. In the case of a shared mandate, the seller rarely listens to a single point of view that he will find difficult to impose on other agencies anyway.
With an exclusive mandate, your property is better valued; by appearing through a single agency, it is uniquely offered and it becomes rare. Prospects are much more sensitive to exclusive properties that aren't everywhere and on every agent's portfolio. A property spotted all too often devalues naturally and gives potential buyers a good argument for a lower negotiated price.
Indeed, we often neglect the image that the type of mandate sends back to prospects. An exclusive mandate conveys an image of trust; a split mandate implies that the seller is desperate to sell very quickly, at a lower negotiated price, that he is ready to accept any offer from anyone and that in the end he has very little of respect for the work an agent can do. How can you believe that prospects will be more respectful of an agent's work when the salesperson does not himself reflect this image? Prospects aren't naive, and more importantly, they don't want to be held hostage in an agent battle.
Being a professional real estate agent means respecting rigorous ethics and know-how. All you have to do is choose the professional guide you trust.
To find out what we have put in place to earn your trust,
REAL ESTATE AGENT VS REALTOR
A realtor is the American equivalent of the European real estate agent.
The difference does not end with terminology as services also vary from continent to continent.
Many expatriates have the habit of appointing their own intermediary agent who works solely in their interest, whether to sell, buy or rent a property. In any transaction, you will find the listing agent designated by the seller/owner and the one designated by the prospect/buyer/tenant.
The 2 agents share the commission.
The legislation governing the work of real estate agencies here in Luxembourg may therefore come as a surprise:
· A real estate agent can only be mandated by the seller – in the case of a sale – or by the lessor – in the case of a rental property.
· The buyer is looking for a single property. The same applies to the tenant who also pays the rental commission,
· There is only one real estate agent acting for each transaction who also receives full commission.
Does this guarantee the fairest of transactions? Not really …
At Monde Avenir, we restore the balance between the parties by giving each of them the same degree of attention and service.
HOME STAGING: WHY AND HOW?
Most people react to what they see, not what they don't see.
An invisible m2, a layout which is hard to read, an unpleasant odour will not only prevent your property from selling but will help others to sell.
Home Staging is not a style of decoration, it is a tool… A tool that allows your property to stand out and sell more quickly at market price.
Here is the 4 R rule:
Declutter / Recycle / Temporarily Reallocate to Storage: Now is the time to get rid of what you have accumulated and no longer need. Depersonalize your interior. Don't distract visitors with family portraits, personal keepsakes that only have meaning for you. Play the following game: put away all the clues about how you look, what all your hobbies are, put away as much as possible if you're generally not a neat person. Finally, make sure everything seems to be in the right place and that there is a place for everything.
Now's the time to tackle all the little repairs you've put on hold: replacing burnt out light bulbs, fixing loose electrical wires, re-sealing shower and tub seals if needed, trimming hedges . You want to give the impression that you have always taken care of the property, you need visitors to have confidence that the property is in generally good working order.
Anything that looks worn will look even worse in the eyes of visitors who miss your indulgence. Repaint certain walls, thoroughly clean your spaces, your window coverings, your removable sofa covers. Clean outdoor areas. Spring clean your property even though it may not be spring.
Now might be the time to remove bulky furniture so you can show off space and volume. Too much clutter gives the impression that you don't have enough space and visitors will interpret this as the property being too small. Do not push all the furniture against the walls, rearrange the seats in a circle, place all the chairs around the table. Do not block openings or traffic lanes. Let in natural light and make sure every room feels lived in.
To see some examples, see our dedicated page on our website: https://www.mondeavenir.lu/home-staging
WHAT DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE TO THE REAL ESTATE AGENT AND TO THE NOTARY WHEN PUTTING A PROPERTY FOR SALE?
Last name & First Name
Date and place of birth
Certified copy of an identity document or passport
Social Security number
Physical identification form
Description of the property
Authorizations to build if work subject to this authorization has been carried out
Minutes of general meetings (when it concerns an apartment in a building with several housing units)
Details of charges (if owner-occupant, lessor and/or tenant)
Original deed of sale
WHAT IS THE CADASTRAL EXTRACT?
The "Cadastral Extract" indicates the measurements of the property and, if the property is located in a building, the percentage allocated to each of the private units (for the purposes of voting and allocation of all charges).
The measurements indicated on this document are the official ones and they are those to be mentioned in the advertisements and sales documents.
It also indicates the contact details of the owners.
WHAT IS AN ENERGY PASSPORT?
The Energy Passport is an official document established after expertise of the property by an approved expert. A valid Passport is required to place a property on the market and is valid for 10 years. It evaluates the efficiency of the heating system and that of the thermal insulation. It also gives advice on possible improvements, which could be considered in order to improve the technical efficiency shown on the current Energy Passport.