How Much Is My House Worth?
Knowing the value of your property isn’t always easy, and there are various factors that need to be taken into consideration. Realistically, a property is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it, but this depends on the current market and whom you are asking for the valuation.
Lenders, agents and assessors could all value your home differently, making it very difficult to know what an accurate house price is.
Using a combination of trained professionals and online tools can help you to truly understand your home’s value, whether you are preparing to sell, buy, refinance or release equity. Read on for our expert guide on how to find out how much your house is really worth, and some advice and tips to help you along the way.
Factors Impacting Your Property Value
There are a number of different factors that should be taken into account when it comes to determining the value of a property. It is no exact science, and the following aspects will all play a part in deciding a house selling price:
- Location: One of the most significant deciding factors when it comes to the value of a home is the location. Homes in popular areas such as city centres are usually worth more than remote locations.
- Size and layout: It is no surprise that homes with more space or more bedrooms tend to be worth more than their smaller counterparts. The layout of a property is also used in a valuation, and a more desirable layout will increase the value.
- Storage space: Properties with extra storage space such as lofts, garages and basements are often valued higher than those with less storage.
- Flood risk: Flooding can cause serious damage to homes and can also make getting insurance a struggle. Homes that are in flood risk areas are generally worth less than those that are not.
- Crime rates: One of the biggest concerns for any buyer is the crime rates of an area.
- Transport links: Properties with good transport links, including train lines and bus services, are often valued higher than those with poor transport.
- School catchments: Families, in particular, will consider school catchment areas when buying a new home, and properties nearby to good schools are often valued higher.
There are many other unique factors that can have a significant impact on the value of a property, including the décor, the condition of the boiler and if there are any leaks, damp or plumbing problems.
Use Online Valuation Tools With Caution
There are loads of websites offering free online house valuations, sometimes called Automated Valuation Models or AVMs, and they allow anyone to find the value of any property. The majority of these tools are available from property listing sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
Online property valuation tools will use publicly available records such as deeds of ownership, property transfers, and tax assessments as well as recent listing prices and sales in your area. Most will then use a mathematic model in order to predict a home’s value, but it is important to be cautious of the valuations given.
These online valuation tools are good for giving a rough idea of a property price but should not be considered as completely accurate as they use limited data. They cannot take into account the current condition of the property or any unique factors your property might have. Using an AVM is a good way of getting a rough valuation and also some background knowledge of the current housing market and prices in your local area.
Valuations from an online tool should not be used as a concrete valuation but can be used alongside other valuation methods to achieve a realistic price for your property.
Seek The Help Of Professionals
One of the most accurate ways of getting a true property valuation is by seeking the help of a professional. Local estate agents, appraisers and surveyors will be able to provide you with a valuation of your property.
An appraisal from these sources is often reliable as they have a wealth of experience in the property market and local area and can use this knowledge to value your home accurately. An estate agent or surveyor will look at the following aspects in order to come up with their valuation:
- Your property: They will consider all areas of your property, including the characteristics, the land it is sitting on and any home improvements that might need to be made.
- The market: The region, city, neighbourhood and even street that your home is located on will be evaluated as part of a professional valuation. Estate agents will have a good knowledge of the current market in their local area and be aware of the areas that are more popular than others.
- Comparable properties: They will spend time analysing other similar properties in the same market as yours as part of the valuation. The sales, listings, cost, vacancies, depreciation and much more from other homes will be considered.
All of this information is combined in order for them to create a final valuation for your property that is likely to be relatively accurate. An estate agent or chartered surveyor will deliver your valuation in an official report that explains all the various aspects that have been taken into account.
If you decide to use a chartered surveyor for your home valuation, then you can expect to pay anywhere between £250 and £600 for their services. Some estate agents will offer property valuations for free depending on their policies, so it is well worth asking estate agents for their current offers and whether they will conduct free valuations without an obligation to sell with them.
It is often best to seek the help of multiple estate agents in order to get an accurate valuation of your home. Look for estate agents that have experience selling other similar homes in your local area. You can then use valuations from estate agents alongside online valuations to get a good picture of your property’s true worth. Don’t just take one answer as fact; use the average based on multiple valuations and your own research.