Have you ever wondered how an estate agent comes up with the value of your home? Have you ever wondered how accurate it is? Have you ever felt you were mis-led about the value of your home? Today I will reveal some of the industry secrets and also illuminate some of the short falls and problems with valuations.
For most of us our home is our most valuable asset so it’s natural to be curious as to its value. If you are thinking of selling or moving then it becomes very much more important, not least because the value of your home is likely to dictate the price you can afford to pay for your next property. Most people will start the process by looking at what their neighbours houses have sold for (assuming any have sold recently) and looking on property websites to see what similar properties are currently selling for. For increasing numbers the next step is to get an instant online valuation of their home. There are a number of these available – we have a very easy to use one, its proving very popular and it gives you an instant result (http://valuation.house-hut.com/).
The final step is usually to then get one or more estate agents out to provide a valuation. A good agent will probably ask you lots of information about your home before visiting. This is very important because without this it is unlikely the agent can give you an accurate opinion. The agent should then do some homework before visiting you to see what similar properties have sold near you and what price they sold for. This is very important as many houses sell for less than the advertised price and by looking at sold properties you get a more realistic valuation. The agent will also look at what is currently on the market (Prices may have increased since those comparable properties sold). Then comes the difficult bit – they should use their experience and knowledge of the local property market to weigh up the relative importance of each comparable property. Armed with this information they will then come to look at your property. They should have a valuation figure in mind at this stage. They will be looking for factors that will influence and change this valuation (either upward or downward). This will include the location of the property, including orientation and outlook, condition of the neighbouring properties and general ambiance. They will look at the condition of the property and for any significant maintenance issues, the general décor and presentation. Finally they should look at the gardens, garages and outbuildings (if any).
Unfortunately not all valuations will be done in this manner. The agent may be very keen to win your instruction and there is a strong temptation to over value to tempt you to use them. If they know what price you are hoping for they may well agree with you or even value higher with little regard for the true value of your property. If an agent gives you a valuation that seems too good to be true it probably is! Getting three agents to value is probably a good idea if you are not sure of the value of your home and go with the middle valuation – don’t be tempted by the highest valuation. Finally a good agent will usually provide you with evidence to back up their valuation – look at the evidence and ask yourself does the evidence look realistic. Beware of agents who just come in and pronounce a valuation. The property market is very strong at the moment and in our experience priced correctly most properties we sell go for the full asking price. If you need an honest, professional valuation of your home call me now on 01373 473782 or 01225 684301.