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    Are online estimators reliable?

    You want to sell/buy a property and would like to get an initial idea of its value in the local real estate market. Online appraisers will help you with this. However, make sure that the services offered are serious and beware of some websites that may give you wrong information. It has been widely proven: the right price is the key to a successful real estate transaction!

    Online appraisal is a quick way to find out the indicative value of a house or apartment in a given municipality. Free or for a small fee, this service is offered to individuals by many brokers, real estate agencies and banking institutions. However, you should avoid online valuers who base their offer on prices posted before negotiation. They do not necessarily correspond to actual transactions, i.e. the amounts actually paid. Also, the reference database must be large enough to be relevant.

    Before you jump in, therefore, check the quality of the online estimation modules. Who offers them? Is it a recognized provider in Switzerland or a foreign company with no knowledge of the local real estate market? The hedonic method is the most reliable, as it uses a comparison of transaction prices of similar objects. This is now the Swiss standard for granting mortgages in real estate financing (villas and condominiums).


    In a few clicks, estimate your property

    It will only take you a few minutes to enter the criteria predefined by the online tool. These are usually the following data: location of the object, type of housing, number of rooms, living and plot area, year of construction. Other parameters are sometimes added, such as the presence of a balcony/terrace, parking spaces or the condition of the property. As a result of the data provided, the owner or buyer receives a brief valuation report that includes a price range.

    The companies CIFI and Wüest Partner have developed rapid valuation tools according to the hedonic method. These software – commonly offered online by real estate agencies – base their calculation on thousands of housing transactions per year. They allow individuals to easily determine the market value of a house or apartment, provided that there are enough similar objects on the local market. On the other hand, this tool is not suitable when properties with special characteristics – for example luxury or assembly real estate – or for some very specific markets.


    Online calculators versus real estate professional

    The quick estimate inevitably leads to an approximate value, since it is based on a limited amount of data. Although it is still useful to get an initial idea of the value, its level of uncertainty increases if atypical properties are involved. For a more precise estimate of the objects, contact a reputable real estate agency! They will carry out a complete evaluation, mainly based on the hedonic method and integrating more parameters. About twenty pieces of information concerning the property and about fifty concerning its location/environment will then be integrated.

    These complete estimates are essential for making the final decision when faced with a purchase or sale. In addition to the configurable data, the real estate expert will go on site to integrate elements that cannot be perceived from a distance. He will also study the relevant documents (land register, cadastre, etc.). His final assessment will include the quality of the construction, the condition of the building, the energy efficiency, any easements encumbering the property, etc.



    In summary: online quick appraisers are a first step to understanding the value of a property. Anyone can do this easily. However, only a full appraisal by an experienced broker will reflect the accurate value of the home in the current market.



    Real Estate Counter’s quick online calculator

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