Property Reports 101: What is “Individual Property Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 10, 2010

Hand drawn mapIt’s the same story with any range of similar products: when you first look at them and there are more than just 2, it’s easy to get lost. There was a sales study I heard about, where they put 6 kinds of jam on the supermarket shelf and 30 percent of the people bought a jar. Then they put 30 kinds of jam on the shelf and just 3 percent of people bought it. Barry Swartz called it “the paradox of choice”.

This was just to demonstrate why I am going to analyze property reports – because it could narrow your choice down and help you pick the one that would really help you buy or sell your house.

So let’s get to it.

Different report providers give the same reports different names. You will find here all the possible names of the reports that are essentially the same, and will be able to easily recognize them on the provider’s website.

Individual Property report (or Property Report)

What’s inside?

Property-specific information

This report includes information about just one property. It may include
– Pictures of the inside / outside (probably taken last time that house was for sale),
– A price estimate and information whether it’s above or below the median price for its suburb,
– A forecast what the house will be worth in one year – based on the estimated growth for the suburb / postcode that property belongs to,
– The amenities that property is close to (schools, shops, etc) and the distance,
– When the house was listed for sale (how long has it been on the market),
– How many times it was advertised and what was the asking price every time,
– How many times it was sold, via private sale or auction, and for how much.
– A list of “comparable” properties that were sold within the same area with prices and dates of sale.

Area-specific information

– How many houses were sold in the last year, the highest price, the lowest price and the median price,
– How many were advertised for sale, the highest asking price, the lowest and the median price and more general information of the same kind.
– Market trends of the suburb / postcode, meaning the movements of the median price during the last 10 years and the percentage of the change.
– Some statistics about the suburb, age of population, nature of occupancy (renters / owners), etc.

For a sample Property Report click here

What can I do with this information?

First, let’s filter away the fluff.

If you’re considering buying or selling a house in a specific area, the number one thing you do is get the free suburb profile online – which covers the median prices, their trends, suburb statistics for age, occupancy and household income, in other words 30% of the information in the report. So these are the pages you don’t need to look at in your report. They are not the reason you bought it in the first place.

Next, let’s move on to the information you didn’t have before.

Frankly, if I was a seller – I would think twice before buying this report. I know what my house looks like from inside and outside and what amenities it’s close to because I’ve lived there for some time. I know what I paid for my house and can calculate the future price in a year on my own, using the projected growth for the suburb, which is available for free in many websites. The only reason for me to still buy this report would be to find out what my neighbors sold their houses for (if their houses are similar to mine).

But if I was a buyer – that’s a different story. Even though I would have probably known about the amenities this location offers and the median prices and trends – the information about the number of times this house was sold in the past years is very useful. If the house was changing hands frequently, then it would suggest that no proper maintenance was done there for a while, therefore I would be expecting expenses.

Knowing what price it was sold last time for, I could calculate the current price (using the known median price growth for the suburb), and from the prices of other similar houses sold in this area I could work out the top and the bottom price limit for my negotiation. From the past asking prices and past selling prices I could work out “the gap” and it would give me an idea how much to offer.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cambridge Real Estate March 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm

You’re absolutely right about too many options making it more difficult for people to choose. My unscientific study of this took place years ago I worked in a restaurant where people were allowed to seat themselves. If many tables were open it would sometimes take customers ten minutes to settle on as they switched from one to another. Odd phenomenon but this series will be very useful – enabling people to zero in on the most relevant property reports.

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properties for sale australia February 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Excellent way of describing, and fastidious piece of
writing to obtain facts regarding my presentation topic, which i
am going to deliver in institution of higher education.

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