I’ve had my fair share of estate agents giving terrible valuations on my homes in the past. In one scenario, Foxtons in London valued my flat at £20,000 than the price I bought it for and also charge me a £18,000 fee for selling that flat.
It’s actually pretty easy to accurately value your own home if you know where to look.
If you’re considering selling your home or want to know how much it’s worth, you’re not alone. Many homeowners wonder how much their property is worth and what factors influence its value. Fortunately, there are several ways to find out the value of your house, from online tools to professional valuations.
The main thing to remember when valuing your home is not to use one source and stick with it; you’ll have to look across multiple sites because it is a bit of skill and a lot of estimating to get the correct range. If you value a house too high if you’re selling – you won’t get any offers, so don’t let estate agents trick you into thinking you’ll get more for your house than it’s worth.
Often, estate agents do this to trap you, and then you have to start reducing the price slowly but surely, which starts to show red flags on property portals, and people looking for deals start to see this and take advantage, meaning you’ll get EVEN LOWER offers.
Let’s explore the best ways to value your own home (accurately)
How I Value My Home
When valuing a house, you must look at SOLD PRICES, not ASKING PRICE.
So avoid heading straight onto Rightmove or Zoopla and looking at active listings because houses typically don’t sell for the price they are listed for (depending on the market, it will be more or less).
- Firstly, I use a Google Chrome plugin called PatMa – this handy plugin provides all the portal data to see if houses have been reduced in price, average selling price in the area (not consistently accurate), and rental income potential. I mainly use this to spot any overvalued properties coming down in price, meaning the seller wants to sell.
- Then, I check the Zoopla house price tool – this helps me understand when the house was last sold and what it was worth. Zoopla will then apply their sold price data in that specific postcode to come up with a figure; however, unless there’s a recent sale, its accuracy can be wildly different as it won’t factor in renovations, extensions, and other nongeneric market data that is available.
- Head onto Rightmove and look at sold comparables. This is by far my most accurate and favorite way to value a house and how I’ve managed to secure a fantastic buy-to-let property and boosted its value by £60,000, and also a new personal home for £680k on the street with houses selling for £1.5m+. This allows you to look at similar houses of a similar size and what they sold for.
- Have a Look at Land Registry – The data from Rightmove and Zoopla sold comparables come from Land Registry data, but if you want to go right to the single source of truth, then you can head onto land registry to look at a specific property, and it’s last sold price & date.
- Validate the data through paid software like PropertyData – Propertydata.co.uk is a handy website. However, you have to pay a small fee to use it to look at in-depth data analysis in areas and house price data; I use this to validate and confirm if what I’ve researched is correct.
After following these steps, I have an accurate idea of the value of a house without overbaking its value; this factors in its size, last sold price, area stats, and any renovations that may also boost the price a bit more.
Understanding Property Valuations
When selling your property, one of the first things you need to do is get an accurate valuation. A property valuation is an estimate of the value of your property based on various factors such as location, size, condition, and market trends. It is essential to get an accurate valuation, as it will help you set the right price and attract potential buyers.
There are different ways to get a property valuation. One way is to use an estate agent. An estate agent valuation is when a local property expert visits your property and provides an estimate of its value. Estate agents use their knowledge of the local property market and recent sales data to provide an accurate valuation.
However, it is essential to note that estate agents may have a vested interest in overvaluing your property, which may lead to them getting a higher commission.
Another way to get a property valuation is to use a professional valuer. A professional valuer is an independent expert trained to provide accurate valuations.
They will visit your property and provide a detailed report on its value based on various factors such as location, size, condition, and market trends. Professional valuations can be more expensive than estate agent valuations but are generally more accurate.
It is important to note that property valuations are not an exact science. They are estimates based on various factors, and valuers may provide different valuations. It is also important to remember that the value of your property can change over time, depending on various factors such as market trends and changes to the property itself.
The Importance of Location
When determining the value of your property, location is one of the most important factors to consider. Your property’s area, local area, and postcode can all significantly impact its value.
There’s always been a lot about the north / south divide in the UK. But typically it’s very true that housing around London and the commuter belt and home counties come with a premium, especially near train stations with easy commutes into London can have huge impacts on property prices.
After living in East London, I remember when Crossrail (now the elizabeth line) was announced and all the houses suddenly on the existing line out towards essex started seeing huge renovations, loft conversions and more as investors and developers swooped in to capitalise on the uplift in house prices over the coming years
Properties in desirable areas, such as those in the south or within the London commuter belt, tend to be more expensive than those in less sought-after locations. This is due to various factors, including proximity to amenities, transport links, and job opportunities.
In addition to these factors, the local area can also impact your property’s value. Areas with good schools, low crime rates, and attractive surroundings are generally more desirable and command higher prices.
However, it’s important to note that location is not the only factor determining your property’s value. The size, condition, and age of the property, as well as current market conditions, also play a role.
When considering the value of your property, it’s essential to consider all of these factors. By doing so, you can get a more accurate idea of what your property is worth and how it compares to other properties in the area.
Online House Valuation
If you’re curious about how much your house is worth, you can get an online house valuation for free.
Online house valuations are estimates of your property’s value based on property data, recent sales, and other factors. They can give you an instant estimate of your property’s worth without hiring a professional appraiser.
Two popular websites that offer free online house valuations are Zoopla and Rightmove.
Zoopla’s house price tool provides an instant estimate of your property’s value based on recent sales and property data.
You input your address and some basic details about your home, and voilà! You get an instant estimate of your property’s value. Rightmove’s sold house prices tool provides similar information, bringing together current and historic prices in one place.
It’s important to note that online house valuations are only sometimes accurate. They are estimates based on recent sales and property data, and they may not consider unique features or upgrades to your property.
However, they can give you a general idea of your property’s value and are a good starting point if you’re considering selling your home.
Working with Local Estate Agents
When determining the value of your property, working with local estate agents can be a great option. Local estate agents have in-depth knowledge of the local property market and can provide you with a realistic estimate of your home’s value based on their experience and expertise.
Here are some things to keep in mind when working with local estate agents:
- Research local agents: Start by researching local estate agents in your area. Look for agents who have experience working with properties similar to yours and have a good reputation in the community.
- Schedule a valuation: Once you have identified a few potential agents, schedule a valuation. During the valuation, the agent will visit your property and assess its condition, location, and other factors that may affect its value.
- Ask questions: Be bold and ask questions during the valuation. Ask the agent to explain how they arrived at their estimate and what factors they considered. This will help you understand the valuation process and make an informed decision.
- Compare valuations: Once you have received valuations from multiple agents, compare them to understand your property’s value better. Remember that valuations can vary depending on the agent’s experience and the current state of the market.
- Negotiate fees: If you decide to work with an estate agent to sell your property, negotiate their fees. Estate agent fees typically range from 0.9%-3.6% depending on which estate agents you use, how many are selling your property – and how well you negotiate. A sole agency agreement (where you instruct just one estate agent) – typical fees 1.2% to 1.8% inc VAT.
Working with local estate agents can be a great way to estimate your property’s value accurately.
Using Sold Prices for Valuation
One of the most reliable ways to determine the value of your property is by using sold house prices. Sold prices refer to the amount a property has sold for rather than the asking price.
This information is publicly available and can be accessed through various sources such as HM Land Registry or Registers of Scotland.
Using sold house prices as a basis for valuation is a great way to accurately estimate your property’s worth. It considers the market value of properties in your area and factors in your property’s unique features.
This information can be beneficial if you want to sell your property, as it can help you set a realistic asking price.
When using sold house prices for valuation, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
- The location of the property: Properties in desirable locations may have a higher value than those in less desirable areas.
- The property size: Larger properties may have a higher value than smaller ones.
- The condition of the property: Properties in good condition may have a higher value than those that require significant repairs or renovations.
- The property’s age: Older properties may have a lower value than newer ones, depending on their condition and location.
It’s also important to note that sold house prices are not the only factor to consider when valuing a property. Other factors like market trends, interest rates, and economic conditions can also impact property values.
Overall, using sold house prices as a basis for valuation can be a valuable tool in determining the value of your property.
It accurately reflects the actual market value of properties in your area and can help you set a realistic asking price if you are looking to sell your property.
House Valuations From HM Land Registry and Registers of Scotland
If you’re wondering how much your house is worth, you may need to consult the HM Land Registry or Registers of Scotland.
These are government agencies responsible for keeping public registers of land, property, and other legal documents in the UK.
The HM Land Registry maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. If you want to find out what a house sold for, the HM Land Registry can provide this information.
You can search for sold prices by postcode, street name, or town/city. The HM Land Registry can also provide you with information on the ownership of a property, any mortgages or loans secured against it, and any other legal interests that may affect the property.
Similarly, the Registers of Scotland is responsible for maintaining the Land Register of Scotland. This register records ownership of land and property in Scotland. If you want to find out how much your house is worth in Scotland, you can consult the Registers of Scotland.
They can provide you with information on the ownership of a property, any mortgages or loans secured against it, and any other legal interests that may affect the property.
It’s worth noting that your house’s value may differ from the price it was sold for. The value of your house may have increased or decreased since it was last sold.
If you want to get an accurate valuation of your house, you should consult a professional property valuer.
Considering Comparable Properties
When determining the value of your home, one of the most important factors to consider is the value of comparable properties in your local area. This means looking at similar properties regarding location, size, age, and condition.
Doing this lets you get a good idea of what buyers are willing to pay for properties like yours and use this information to set a realistic asking price.
There are several ways to find information on local comparable properties. You can start by looking at property listings in your area and noting the asking prices of homes similar to yours.
You can also use online property portals, such as Rightmove or Mouseprice, to search for sold prices of similar properties in your area.
This can give you a good idea of what buyers have paid for homes like yours.
Another helpful tool for finding comparable properties is Mouseprice data. This property sales database provides detailed information on the sale prices of homes in your area. You can use this information to compare the value of your home to similar properties that have recently sold.
When looking at comparable properties, it’s important to consider the sale price and the home’s condition and features. A property in better condition or with more desirable features, such as a larger garden or a garage, will generally be worth more than a similar property in poorer condition.
By considering comparable properties, you can understand what your home is worth and set a realistic asking price.
However, it’s important to remember that every property is unique, and many factors can affect its value. It’s always a good idea to seek professional advice from a local estate agent to get a more accurate home valuation.
How Improvements Affect House-Worth
Making improvements to your home can have a significant impact on its worth. The value of your property can increase by thousands of pounds if you invest in the right improvements.
One of the most popular home improvements is a loft conversion. According to Resi, loft conversions can increase the value of your home by up to 20%. A loft conversion can add an extra bedroom, bathroom, or even a home office, which is particularly attractive to buyers today.
A new kitchen can also add value to your home. According to Zoopla, a new kitchen can increase the value of your home by up to 6%. A modern, functional kitchen is a significant selling point for many buyers.
Similarly, a new bathroom can also have a positive impact on your home’s value. A well-designed bathroom can increase the value of your home by up to 5%. Adding an extra bathroom can also be a wise investment, especially if you have a family home.
If you’re planning on making significant structural changes to your home, it’s worth consulting an architect. An architect can help you maximize the potential of your property and ensure that any work complies with building regulations.
Understanding Asking Price vs. Estimated Value
When selling your house, it’s essential to understand the difference between the asking price and the estimated value. The asking price is the amount of money the seller hopes to receive for the property.
At the same time, the estimated value approximates the property’s worth based on location, size, condition, and recent sales in the area.
It’s important to note that the asking price and the estimated value are not always the same. In fact, according to This Is Money, estate agents often overvalue properties by as much as 22% to win listings and impress sellers. Overpriced houses can deter potential buyers and lead to longer selling times.
To determine the estimated value of your property, you can use a house valuation tool or consult with a local agent. These professionals will consider the property’s features, location, and recent sales in the area to come up with an estimate.
However, remember that the estimated value is just an approximation and may not reflect the exact selling price.
Consider lowering the sale price if your property is overpriced and not receiving offers. This can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to remember that an overpriced property can lead to a longer selling time and a lower final sale price.
Benefits and Limitations of House Valuations
Knowing the value of your house can be beneficial in many ways. Here are some benefits of getting a house valuation:
- Helps in making informed decisions: Knowing the value of your house can help you make informed decisions about selling, refinancing, or renovating your property. It can also help you plan your finances better by showing how much equity you have in your property.
- Assists in setting a realistic price: If you plan to sell your house, getting a valuation can help you set a realistic price. This can save you from overpricing your property, leading to it staying on the market for too long.
- Provides a benchmark for negotiations: A house valuation can provide a benchmark for negotiations with potential buyers. You can use the valuation report to justify your asking price and negotiate with buyers.
- Helps in estate planning: Knowing the value of your property can be helpful in estate planning. It can help you decide how to distribute your assets among your heirs.
However, there are also some limitations to getting an accurate house price:
- Valuations are not always accurate: House valuations are estimates and may not always be accurate. They are based on the data available during the valuation, and the market conditions can change quickly.
- Valuations can vary: Different valuers may come up with different valuations for the same property. This is because valuations are subjective and depend on the valuer’s experience, knowledge, and methodology.
- Valuations can be expensive: Getting a professional valuation can be expensive, and the cost can vary depending on the type of valuation required.
Remortgaging and House Value
If you’re considering remortgaging your property, it’s important to have an accurate idea of your home’s current value. This will help you determine how much equity you have in your property and what kind of mortgage deal you can secure.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to remortgaging and house value:
When you remortgage your property, your lender will typically require a valuation to be done to determine your home’s current market value. This valuation will consider factors such as the size and condition of your property, its location, and any recent sales of similar properties in the area.
It’s important to note that the valuation may not always match your estimate of your home’s worth, so it’s a good idea to get an idea of your property’s value before applying for a remortgage.
Home’s current value
There are several ways to understand your home’s current value. One option is to use an online house valuation tool, which can give you an estimate based on recent sales data and other factors.
Another option is to consult with a local estate agent, who can give you a more accurate idea of your property is worth based on their knowledge of the local market.
When remortgaging, having an accurate idea of your home’s value is crucial. This will help you determine what kind of mortgage deal you can secure and how much equity your property has.
By researching and getting an accurate valuation, you can decide whether remortgage is the right option.
In conclusion, determining the worth of your house is a different science. Many factors can affect the value of your property, including location, size, condition, and the housing market’s current state.
However, there are several methods you can use to get a rough estimate of your home’s value.
One method is to use an online house value calculator such as Zoopla’s Instant House Valuation tool. This tool uses data from the latest sales and property data to estimate your property’s value.
It’s important to note that these online calculators are only a guide and should not be relied upon as a definitive valuation.
Another method is to get a professional valuation from a qualified surveyor or estate agent. This can be a more accurate way of determining your home’s value as it considers all your property’s unique features.
However, this method can be expensive and time-consuming.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the value of your home is to do your research, consider all the factors that can affect the value of your property, and get multiple opinions from different professionals.
By doing so, you can better understand how much your house is worth and make informed decisions about buying or selling property.