Rightly or wrongly so, we’re a nation fixated with money, and what better way to calculate our wealth than tallying up the value of our most valued asset- our home?
We all love knowing that our investment is heading in the right direction, even if we don’t plan on cashing out just yet. It’s just nice to know, right? But how do we know the value of our home? For those that want to sell, it used to be a simple case of contacting a few local estate agents for them to conduct valuations. Seems pretty straight forward enough. And while that is still largely the case, there’s some growing confusion for those that have jumped onto the ever growing phenomenon of privately selling a property via the means of an online estate agent! How do those folks know the real value of their home?
To be honest, it doesn’t matter whatever the case- whether you’re looking for assurance of a wise investment, or for selling purposes (whether it by an online or highstreet agent), here are some methods of getting a valuation…
Speak to multiple local high-street Estate Agents
Most estate agents will value your property for free, with no obligations! That means, you can get them to drive over, walk through every room, and assess every nook and cranny, in order to give you an accurate valuation, even if you don’t plan on selling, or using them as your agent. Even if you plan on using an online agent you can get a local agent to valuate your property!
However, I would advise to do the following:
- Get valuations from multiple local agents so you can establish the most realistic and accurate valuation
- Make sure there are no absolutely obligations when you book your free valuation!
- If you plan on using an online agent, it’s probably best not to inform the local agent you’re just using them just for a valuation. The better option might just be to tell them you’re going to get a few quotes from other local agents, so at least that way they will know you’re ‘shopping around’
- Be warned, estate agents are notorious for harassing potential vendors to work with them. So after you get a valuation, expect them to continuously hound you!
Hybrid Estate Agents
So I’ve mentioned high-street agents, now let’s move onto Hybrid Estate Agents. You heard of them?
Essentially, a hybrid agent is a cross between an online agent and a traditional high-street agent, so ultimately, that also means their price point is also somewhere in the middle. Heard of PurpleBricks or/and YOPA (most people have these days)? Well they’re Hybrid Estate Agents. Here’s a complete guide on both online estate agents and hybrid agents if you want to know the specifics.
Essentially, while Hybrid Agents largely operate online, they do provide a local estate agent as part of their service (obviously, that’s the element from the high-street agent they have adopted) so they can conduct a physical and real in-person valuations! As with high-street agents, the valuations are usually free, with no obligations to use their service afterwards. Bear in mind, if you plan on using a pure “online agent” (that does not include hybrids), you generally will NOT get access to a local agent!
Use Rightmove & Zoopla to current prices
You see where I’m going here, don’t you? This is kind of a no-brainer; go onto those websites and utilise their data by finding out how much similar properties in the same area are selling for. While this may not be entirely accurate in all cases, particularly if you have made significant improvements to your property (e.g. extensions and conversions), or have a particularly unique property, it will allow *most* people to get a pretty good idea of what their property is currently valued at.
Use Rightmove to find historical sold prices
So while you can use Rightmove to find the current market price, they also provide access to historical sale prices, so you can how much properties in your area recently sold for! They get their sold house price data directly from the Land Registry and the Registers Of Scotland, so it’s accurate stuff. Here’s the Rightmove Sold House Prices tool.
Zooplas free valuation tool
Zoopla also offers a free tool, but their one does all the number crunching and analysis for you. All you need to do is enter a few details about your property and they’ll give you a valuation. They don’t explain what they base their valuations on, they simply say it’s calculated with “a secret formula that analyses millions of data points relating to property sales and home features UK wide.” I suspect it’s largely based on their own internal ‘house price data’ from historical and current records. Worth a spin though, seeing as it is free. Here’s a link to the Zoopla House Price Tool.
To get the most accurate valuation
In order to get the most accurate information to help determine how much your property/house is really worth, it’s worth trying a few of the methods above, and then working out an average! Remember one thing though, house prices don’t often sell at the initial marketed price!