How Much Is My House Worth?

With all the free online tools now available it is quite easy to assess the value of your house or flat.

NOTE: The value of your property is the amount someone will actually pay for it and of course you never know this for sure until you put it on the market and then accept an offer from a Buyer.

Any property valuation – even if undertaken by a RICS accredited Chartered Surveyor – is therefore only ever an opinion of value.

In addition the timescales you are working to will affect the property value – clearly if you need to sell within 2 weeks you have less time and so less prospective Buyers than if you are happy to wait 6 months.

We recommend that you complete the 4 steps below.

Sometimes either of steps 1 or 2 can give you an accurate property valuation, but very often there are discrepancies between these. Taking an average of steps 1-3 is likely to be more meaningful.

Step 1

Recent Comparables (known as “comps” in the trade).

Search one of the free sources to find recent sales of properties similar to yours.

For example:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices

Type in your postcode and you will see recent sales close to your property. You can change the filters to find properties of your type and size, just those in your postcode, etc.

If your property is similar to most other properties nearby then you should look at properties close to yours, i.e. in the same postcode. If there are a mix of properties around you e.g. semis, detached and flats, then you may need to search wider.

The aim here is to find properties that are similar to yours – you will know your neighbourhood and will be able to filter out any that are not similar.

Ideally you’re looking for 3 sales of similar properties within the last 6 months. Unless the local market is rising or falling quickly, these will be good comparables.

If you can’t find 3 recent sales to compare, change the filters to search wider but avoid comparing with properties that you know to be of a different type (for example if your house is an ex-Local Authority property, avoid comparisons with properties built for private buyers, as the values will vary).

When you’ve found your best 3 comparable property values, take the average of these as your 1st Valuation Figure.

Step 2

Current Comparables

Now you need to see what is on the market at the moment, either “For Sale” or “Sold subject to contract.”

Go to http://www.rightmove.co.uk/.

Enter your postcode, then click the For Sale button.

Change the Search Radius to “within ¼ of a mile”, select the number of bedrooms (i.e. the same number as in your property) and most importantly tick the “Include Under Offer, Sold STC…” box.

The aim is to find the 3 most similar properties to yours in terms of location, size and condition that are currently on the market.

You can get a good idea of the condition of properties from the photographs. If there are no photographs, or just a picture of the outside of the property, this usually means that the condition is poor!

Most properties are marketed at a higher price than they will actually sell for, particularly when the market is slow. Often a “Buyer’s Market” occurs and Buyers can make lower offers.

When you’ve found your best 3 comparables, deduct 7% from the advertised price to arrive at a typical sold price.

Then take the average of these as your 2nd Valuation Figure.

Tip: Rightmove have a very useful snapshot “Price Comparison report” under the “House Prices” button. This shows properties currently on the market, properties previously on the market and the most recent sales.

Step 3

Go to http://www.zoopla.co.uk/home-values

Enter your postcode and you will see Zoopla’s estimates for nearby properties and possibly even your own.

This valuation draws on various information within Zoopla’s database. It also gives you the opportunity to either “Get Estimate” by completing information about the property, or “Refine Estimate” by updating the details. It is worth refining the estimate by updating the information.

Complete the exercise for your property to get your 3rd Valuation Figure.

Step 4

Take the figure from each of Steps 1, 2 and 3 and then take the average of these. This is likely to be the value of your property. In reality it could be 5% above or below this – as stated before you will only know when you market the property and accept an offer.

Although you can’t rely 100% on the property valuation determined by this exercise, it is worth spending the 10 minutes or so that it takes to do it.

If you are thinking of selling your property using an Estate Agent, it makes sense to have this information before you speak to them. Then if they tell you the property value is a significantly different amount you can ask them why and refer them to your research.

Remember, Knowledge is Power!

Free Property Selling Advice

Get all this and more in our Weekly email full of Information, Tips and Advice

  • Price Trends in Your Postcode
  • Estate Agents You Should Avoid
  • How to Get 10% More Than Your Neighbour