How much is my house worth?
It’s a question us Brit’s are obsessed with, and apparently there’s nothing more satisfying than discovering our investment has increased in value!
So how do you find out if you’ve invested well?
Below is a list of free methods to finding out the value of your home- they range from utilising free valuation tools online, to booking free home visit valuations by a local expert. But first, let’s quickly look at “why”…
Why get a free property valuation?
The most common reasons…
- It’s the first step to selling a home: finding out how much the property/house in question is worth!
- House valuations aren’t just useful for sellers, but also buyers and investors for research purposes, particularly when preparing to put down an offer.
- Rightly or wrongly so, we’re a nation fixated with money, and for most of us calculating the value of our most valued asset- our home- is the best way to help determine our net worth.
- Many home-owners get a valuation so they know what improvements can be made to the property in order to increase the value of it.
However, that’s not to say they’re the only reasons. You don’t even need a reason.
Fortunately, with so many useful and data rich resources available online these days, it’s never been easier to find out the value of our home! As with most things in this digital age, all it takes is a few taps and clicks. Of course, the traditional route of contacting local agents to conduct valuations is still relevant and perhaps still the most reliable method, but it’s not always the easiest, or the most convenient.
Let’s take a look at some of our options…
Different ways of valuing your home
1) Free, no obligation, in-person property valuation services by the Online Agent YOPA
While most Online Estate Agents largely operate purely online, some of them do actually operate under a Hybrid Agency model (a ‘hybrid agent’ is a cross between an online agent and a traditional high-street agent), which essentially means they provide real in-person valuations by one of their local agents! Similarly with high-street agents, the valuations are typically free. All you need to do is go onto the online agent’s website and complete a booking form to schedule a home valuation.
YOPA is a fine example of a Hybird agent that offers free, no obligation, in-person home valuations. Details below…
Please note, “Price to market” is the cost for using the agent’s services to sell your house after the valuation. You do NOT need to pay in order to get your free valuation! Whether you decide to use their services after the valuation is completely your call!
|Estate Agent||Rating||Notes / Includes||Price to Market|
9.4 / 10
*Selling fee of £1,399 in a few specific London postcodes.
I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.
2) Free online property valuation tools [Quick/Instant method]
With the internet at our grubby little finger tips, it’s remarkably easy to get ‘instant’ online valuations. Although, there is a trade off with instant quotes- they’re often not as accurate as the other means (i.e. having an agent visit your property and conduct a thorough valuation). However, they’re useful enough to give you a quick ballpark figure, which is better than nothing. At the very least, it will give you a figure to work with if you’re toying with the idea of selling your property.
Most of the online valuation tools will use historical and current asking and selling price data, along with location and property type. However, those formulas may not take into account condition and/or any extra features which may affect the sale price.
emoov offer both free in-person and online valuations. If you’re after a quick online valuation, make sure you click the “I’d prefer a valuation without being visited” option while confirming your valuation.
|Online Valuation Tool|
Zoopla bases their valuation on all 28 million UK homes, and get their data from multiple sources including the government, estate agents, and surveyors. The accuracy depends on location and availability of data in an area. The more data available, the more accurate it is.
|Online Valuation Tool|
3) Historical sold house prices
So while you can use Rightmove to find the current market price, they also provide access to historical sale prices, so you can see 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.
4) Property portals & current house prices
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.
5) Your local 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 hound you for your business!
The problem with property valuations
The problem with property valuations is that they can vary wildly, whether it be between local agents or different online tools, so without due diligence it’s extremely easy to rely on miscalculations and lose a fortune.
If I had to offer a single piece of advice, especially for anyone that’s in the process of selling their home, or at least pondering the idea- it is to not rely on just ONE method of valuing your property. Use as many as you can to determine an accurate valuation.
Not happy with your valuation? Is it wrong?
Put the champers on hold.
Is that valuation for real, you ask.
It can be demoralising when you don’t see or hear the numbers you were expecting, and that look of disappointment is unmistakable. Sadly, it happens a lot, and for many reasons!
Obviously there’s a difference between misunderstanding the market and bearing unrealistic expectations, and actually receiving inaccurate information. However, in either scenario, you’ll be in desperate need for clarity.
The reality is, the online valuation tools aren’t notoriously accurate if the information they’re powered by is starved from data that’s required to support your specific case (i.e. historical data of sold and local properties similar to yours), and even local estate agents that understand the local market can get it wrong, or perfectly understandably, be a little jittery when dealing with particularly unique properties that don’t come onto the market often. Ultimately, there’s always a margin for error when it comes to property valuations. So if the number you heard is depressing, perhaps there’s reason to put the champers on ice as opposed to flushing it altogether.
Initial valuations, whether it by a local agent or online tools, can be wrong! But also, like I said, there’s a hell of a lot of people with unrealistic expectations (particularly after watching an inspiring Sarah Beeny property show). If you’re trying to value a standard property in a popular area (i.e. where property is often purchased and sold), then the odds of retrieving drastically inaccurate valuations massively declines.
Run a few online tools, get a few quotes from your local agents, and monitor the local market… they can’t all be gone.
Increasing the value of your home before selling
Do you know what many upcoming home-sellers do before placing their property onto Rightmove for sale?
They find out the value of their home from a local agent, and while doing so, find out if there are any improvements that can be made to significantly increase the value of their property (i.e. build an extension, convert a bathroom into a bedroom etc). Savvy.
Depending on finances, the maths, the potential gains, and appetite for risk and reward… it may seem like a no-brainer.
Just food for thought, that’s all, really.
Average houses prices in England
By no means are national average house prices stats indicative of how much your property is worth, but it can provide you with an idea of the amount of money people are selling their homes for right now, which actually tells us how much the average home is worth.
The GOV website provides some cool stats on average house prices, which is gathered from the HM Land Registry.
At the time of writing this blog post, In England, the April data shows on average, house prices have risen by 1.1% since March 2018, and the average property value is £243,639.
Here’s a breakdown by region:
|Region||Average house price in April 2018 (£)|
|East of England||286,447|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||158,545|
For the latest stats, you may want to hop over to the GOV website.