How Much is My House Worth?

One of the first questions people ask when thinking about selling their home is “how much is my house worth”?

Many people wrongly assume that their house is worth the valuation put on it by an Estate Agent (or even a Chartered Surveyor).

Wrong! These are opinions of value, but the only opinion that counts is the Buyer’s. It might sound obvious but the value of a property is what someone will actually pay for it.

Of course it is impossible to be sure in advance exactly what a Buyer will pay for any property. The most important thing an Estate Agent has to do is to put the value of a property within the right price band. A band should be a price range of around 5%.

As an example, a house worth £100,000 marketed at between £97,500 and £102,500 will generate interest. At £102,500 it is likely that an offer will be made a bit below this, and at £97,500 there’s a higher chance that it will sell quickly, and a possibility that people might compete to buy it and the price could move up.

Too high (say £110,000 in this example) and there will be little interest and inevitably the price will be reduced later. Too low (say £90,000 in this example) and unless a mini auction situation arises you will lose out on money that should be going in your pocket.

Getting an accurate valuation

Of course without hindsight it is impossible to know whether you property is priced correctly but there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of it being marketed at the right level.

Here are some useful guidelines for getting an accurate answer to the question “how much is my house worth?”

  • Don’t tell The Estate Agent how much you want to achieve – there’s a good chance they’ll agree with you even if you’re wrong, just so that you agree to use them, knowing that they can always get you to reduce the price later.
  • Get at least 3 valuations, but don’t tell the various Estate Agents how much other Agents have valued the property at. If you do, very often they’ll say that they can get you a higher price, again knowing that the price can be reduced later, so that you agree to use them.
  • Ask them how they arrive at the house valuation. They should be able to back this up with specific information of comparable properties sold, taking into account any variations from yours (better or worse decorative order, extensions, conservatory, size/aspect of plot, etc). If their estimation of the value of a property isn’t backed up with comparable data, be wary!
  • Ask them how quickly they expect to get a sale at the price they suggest and see if this matches your expectations. Ask them to back this up with recent examples. Obviously they can tell you whatever they want, but their response may or may not give you confidence.

Be honest with yourself about how much your house is likely to be worth compared to similar properties. You like your home because it’s yours, and to your taste, but try and remain detached.

Is your kitchen or bathroom old or dated? Is your property newly redecorated and re-carpeted in neutral colours or has it remained as it is for some years? Does it show the signs of being a lived in family home?

In a difficult property market a “tired” property can be hard to sell because Buyers have plenty of choice, and are unlikely to choose a property that needs work if others nearby are in better condition at a similar price.

Find out more about the ways to sell a house:

1 Using an Estate Agent
 • Types of Estate Agent
 • How Estate Agents Market Property
 • How Much is it Worth?
 • How Much are Estate Agent’s Fees?
 • Once the Property is Listed
 • Once a Sale has been Agreed
 • Estate Agent Tricks
 • Selling Without an Estate Agent

2 Selling to a Quick Cash Buyer
 • Watch out for the Unethical

3 Selling at Auction

4a Equity Release

4b Sell & Rent Back (SARB)

5 Creative Solutions
 • Exchanged with Delayed Completion

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By Richard Watters

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