How Much Is My House Worth?
Whether you regard your property as your family home or as an investment, if you have decided to put it on the market, it is really important to know its true value. It is essential, that when the property goes on the market it does so with a realistic price tag – not too high, so that it sits without too much interest and not too low, so that it sells so quickly that it is evident you might have got more for it.
The important point to remember is that valuations really do fluctuate and are easily impacted by such things as current trends and passing seasons. Data provided by the Land Registry in August 2018, revealed that the average price for a house in the UK was £232,797 and this price reflected a 0.2% increase in house prices from the previous month and a 2% increase from the previous year.
What valuations are available?
Well the easiest way to 'get a feel from the market' is to see if any similar properties in your road are on the market. The Nationwide House Price Index Calculator can be useful as it reflects changes in house prices but doesn't take into account finer details that can affect values, such as area and local amenities.
There are online valuations available but these really give just a rough guide as they are too general to be accurate as their attention is focused on postcode and the number of bedrooms. The House Price Index from the Land Registry can be useful as it collects data about all house sales nationwide and is more in-depth as it considers regions and property types too.
At the end of the day, the only accurate valuation is one undertaken by an estate agent – but valuations are usually only accurate for up to three months. No two agents will give you the same valuation and it is a good idea to get three valuations from different agencies. Try to get valuations from different types of agencies such as a well-known chain and small independent company.
What affects a valuation?
There are a number of points about your property that cannot be changed, but nevertheless do have an impact on its value and these include:
- The location of the property – town or rural, estate or detached.
- The area that it is in – good quality, well-kept streets, low crime rate etc.
- Is the property situated in a flood zone? Is there aircraft noise?
- Is there a good public service network?
- How far is it to the local motorway and airport?
- Are there good local amenities? Shops? Restaurants? Health Centre?
- Does the property have off road parking?
- Is there good Wi Fi and mobile phone signals?
How can you influence the valuation?
Before getting a valuation on your property, it is well worth investing some time and effort getting the property ready to go on the market as this will affect the valuation in a positive way. Most buyers do not want to buy a property with problems and one that is looking tired and in need of rapid redecoration – and if they do, they will want these facts reflected in the price tag. These are the ways to spruce up your home before putting it on the market.
Amongst the things to check and organise are the following
- Does your property look tidy and well maintained from the road as first impressions do count. Get the front garden really tidy and clean the paintwork on the front door, garage door and windows.
- Give the back garden a good tidy and get the inside of the garage organised.
- Get the electrics and plumbing checked to ensure they are in good order. If there is a damp problem, deal with it effectively– either by calling in the professionals or DIY.
- Make sure all carpets and curtains are clean and in good order – hire a carpet cleaner for the day as this will really make a difference.
- Have a great 'de-cluttering' of every room as this will make things look clean and rooms look bigger.
- If you have any 'statement' walls that might not be to everyone's taste, repaint them with a neutral colour that has universal appeal.
- If any of the rooms are small in size, trying hanging a large mirror on one wall as this can reflect light and make the room appear bigger.
Once you have your three valuations, it is up to you to decide on the final asking price – don't be swayed by the highest price as this could be the agent just chancing their luck for a larger commission!
Likewise, don't aim too low with the price as you might well be underselling your property.