How to value an apartment

Before buying or selling an apartment, it is important to ascertain its real value. Find out how to obtain it.
Knowing the real value of a property is equally important when buying and selling. There are specific criteria that provide general guidelines on how to value an apartment when setting its official price at the time of purchase or sale. Here, we'll provide some pertinent details and show you a simple way to go about an appraisal.
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Who can appraise an apartment and how to go about it

Property valuation is carried out by certified appraisers. These professionals perform an impartial valuation of the property. The first step, before proceeding to the appraisal, is to request a quote from the appraiser. If you accept the quote, the appraiser will initiate the administrative steps. These include requesting a "nota simple" from the property registry, checking the characteristics of the real estate, and collating the information with the official data from the Land Register and local governments, as well as with the information provided by the client. Lastly, the appraiser will perform a valuation of the property.

It's important that the appraiser has access to the property, since he/she can only inspect certain aspects on site, such as the condition of the home, possible errors regarding the quality of the materials, any complementary services that the property may have, etc. These types of inspections will allow the buyer settle any potential written mistakes.

For example, the condition of the building in which the property is located is important to the appraisal of a home, as this has significant impact on its value. A building that, despite being older, has all its inspections in order and is in good condition will be a higher quality guarantee than a more modern building that is in poor condition or lacking any of the mandatory technical inspections.

The value also depends largely on the layout of the building. Buildings are not always designed to have equally-comfortable floor plans. As such, the above-mentioned analysis studies how the square meters of the apartment are laid out and if all homes are equally comfortable. All appraisers take into account the layout of the rooms, the square meters and the space, as these factors improve one's quality of life in an apartment.

Other important factors of an appraisal are the location and sun orientation. These factors are of two-fold importance. On the one hand, the location of the apartment, depending on the region, determines two basic aspects of daily life: how much sunlight enters the home and, above all, its energy certification. A well-lit apartment that's easy to ventilate, receives sunlight from dawn until dusk (southwest), and needs little heating in winter will be more attractive than dark apartments that require a great deal of energy for lighting in winter. But, location is not only important for energy reasons, it's also important for comfort. Not all neighborhoods are the same nor do they have the same combination of public transport, traffic noise, or population density. A corner bar or a street with a lot of traffic will have a negative effect when compared to green spaces or leisure areas. These factors are relevant for daily life and will impact the valuation. Location is therefore decisive in any valuation.

Lastly, there are some aspects that, although some might consider them to be secondary, are useful in an appraisal. For example, a renovated home in a new building will have better windows, better floors, good central heating, perhaps an elevator, etc. All these additional amenities can increase the value of an apartment and impact the final valuation.

Consequently, the valuation is not only a question of technical measurement, but also incorporates other elements that, depending on the market demands, will increase or decrease the value of each habitable square meter.

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As you can see, valuating an apartment is not a straightforward task. The issues regarding technical measurement and the inspection required for a valuation demand a detailed study by an expert. It's the appraiser who will determine the home's value. using an appraisal report that compiles and completely justifies each of the positive and negative aspects that impact the price indicated in the valuation.

BBVA Valora is an easy-to-use online application that generates information from publicly accessible sources and, by combining this information with algorithms, offers information of interest on various sectors, including the real estate sector.

Regarding how much a property might be worth and the characteristics of a neighborhood, all information is obtained from a property's cadastral information. The data from this registry includes housing from all of Spain, except the Basque Country and Navarre. These two autonomous communities have their own systems for calculating the cadastral value (one for each Autonomous region), and they currently have no online consultation.

If you are looking for a home and you need help, you can download the Valora View app, which will accompany you and assist you during the search process. For more information, you can focus the camera on the house you like, find out if it is available for rent or purchase and know its approximate price. 

The prices shown are not an official appraisal, whereby a professional visits the property and analyzes its state of conservation and characteristics to determine the value. It also excludes aspects that modify the value, such as the state of conservation, special characteristics (views, height or waterfront property), or installations (garden, swimming pool and other services).

As such, an approximation of this kind you allows you to quickly learn three essential aspects for purchase: how much a home might be worth according to specific key factors, such as information on its cadastral value, its geolocation, its characteristics and the year it was built; the neighborhood and its sale and purchase status, the evolution of prices and types of properties in the area, and the calculations you will need to do to undertake the purchase or sale of property (mortgages, taxes, expenses, etc.). You can obtain all this information in just a few clicks with BBVA Valora.

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