How do I assess a building

House saleThis is how owners determine the value of their property

A single-family house in the country, 250 square meters with garden, bought more than 25 years ago and completely renovated. Insulated walls, triple-glazed windows, modern heating. The owner has even installed a sauna with a whirlpool in the basement. Now he wants to sell his beloved home - and is faced with the question: How much is the property worth today? Is 300,000 euros appropriate? Or just 250,000 euros?

Most homeowners are vastly underestimating the value of their property, a survey by the online broker McMakler shows. Four out of ten owners have a rating well above the current market price. “Valuing real estate accurately is a great challenge for laypeople. The current euphoria on the real estate market causes many to misjudge ”, says Lukas Pieczonca, managing director of McMakler. If the seller has lived in the house himself, the estimates are usually even more unrealistic. Memories and emotions cloud the view. Property owners are then no longer objective, explains Pieczonca. The result: They give the sauna or gas heating a higher value than they deserve.

Tools help with the assessment

Incorrect price expectations can be fatal in sales talks. Because buyers also find out about the value of a property and look for defects in order to keep the price down. “In sought-after locations, a large difference may not be a problem because a buyer will be found. In difficult markets, however, sellers with unrealistic price expectations risk that the negotiation will fail, ”says Alexander Wiech from the owners' association Haus und Grund. Then they have to advertise the property again. "That seems dubious and quickly makes a very bad impression on potential buyers," says Wiech.

Sellers cannot avoid a second opinion. The real estate compass on can help with the assessment. If you need a first quick estimate of how much a house or apartment is currently worth, you will find appropriate tools on the Internet on portals such as Immobilienscout24 or Immonet. Their algorithm evaluates the location based on the address. Sellers have to assess the quality and condition of the equipment themselves. The program uses all this data to determine a rough market value. That is the average price that the property achieves on the market.

Expert opinions cost

Such mini-reports are usually free of charge. They are suitable for subjecting your own asking price to an initial reality check, says house-and-land expert Wiech. However, the more the property deviates from the standard, the less precise the estimates of the online calculators become. Then real estate owners can no longer avoid a professional appraisal. "Anyone who hires an expert to provide an appraisal receives an estimate of the market value as well as a detailed analysis of structural damage and investment needs," explains Wiech.

Important: The profession of reviewer is not protected by law. Anyone who values ​​a professional judgment should therefore choose providers with good references. On the websites of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, owners can find a nationwide database with the addresses of all publicly appointed and sworn experts. You can also play it safe if you turn to well-known testing service providers such as TÜV or Dekra.

The professional's view has its price: an opinion from a sworn expert costs between 1000 and 3000 euros, depending on the effort. But even if property owners have to dig deeper into their pockets - in the end the investment almost always pays off, says Wiech.