How investors can find undervalued properties

How investors can find undervalued properties
How investors can find undervalued properties

One ‘quick win’ for investors regardless of what and where they buy is finding a property that can be bought for less than it is worth. 

You might wonder how that is possible. It seems a little strange that people would sell property for less than it is worth, but it does happen and our buyer’s agents have snapped up plenty of opportunities for our clients over the years.  Here are 5 reasons why someone would sell a property below market value.

1. They don’t care

There are occasions where the seller does not care what the market value of a property is. In the case of a mortgagee-in-possession for example, where a lender has taken possession of a property, they typically just want to dispose of the property as soon as possible. The lender is mainly concerned with recovering the debt owed on the property. While they have a duty to maximise the price, a public auction usually would satisfy an obligation to obtain a fair price. Mortgagee sales are therefore often a good place to find a property below market value.

2. Ignorance 

Some people may simply be oblivious to the true, sometimes hidden, value of their property. For example, they may not have bothered to discover the zoning codes in the area, which may make their property worth more than similar houses in the area with a different zoning. Or another example could be a seller that lives interstate with little interest in keeping up to date with market prices, and doesn’t do enough research when setting a sales price.

3. They want to

Did you know there are some sellers that actually do not want to sell at market value? As hard as that may be to believe, there are rare occasions where this occurs. For instance, when there is a bitter dispute between partners (life partners or business partners) they may turn vindictive towards each other and would rather see the other side suffer than win themselves. 

4. The only choice left

For some people, selling below market value seems to be only choice left. For instance, the bank may be threatening them with repossession. Or they may have purchased elsewhere and either don’t want to take out, or cannot take out, bridging finance. For whatever reason, in their minds they believe the only choice left is to sell below market value. 

5. Emotional pressure

Some people do not deal with pressure very well, and in property there is often a lot of emotional pressure. If financial pressures are building up, people become irrational. For example, if the property has been on the market for a long time, the emotional price becomes too high and they would rather slash the price than have the uncertainty of not selling their home or investment property. 

Even if you can find a property below market value, that doesn’t automatically make it a good investment. All the typical research criteria still need to stack up! For more insight into the do’s and don’ts of property research, download your free copy of our latest ebook: ”How to find investment-grade properties using professional research principles”. 

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