Valuing Your Own Home

Before you start to market your own home or approach an estate agent, you should get a good sense of how much your property is worth. Getting a feel for the price is not too difficult.... many of these tips apply to letting your property as well as selling it!

Check achieved house prices in your area

The first stop here is the other houses in your street. Check on sites like www.nethouseprices.com or Zoopla by typing in a postcode or street name in order to see records of past sales in your area. For houses similar to your own, more recent sales should give you an idea of what to expect.

A property with a question mark about its price.

Irritatingly, most of these sites list just prices and whether each sale was a flat or a house. And comparing your four-bedroomed semi to a two-bedroomed terraced is a great way to undervalue your property! But don’t despair, just search price comparison reports on RightMove and other sites, or even have a look at Google Maps. It may take a little of digging to get them, but even a few archived records from your street could ultimately be worth the bother. Other websites to look at are:

You should also research regional price trends to get a better view of how many properties around you are changing hands and what they’re going for. This will help show how ‘in demand’ your area is and what most buyers are expecting to pay.

  • The Land Registry records practically every property sale in England and Wales. Its House Price Index gives averages by country and region and breaks them down into housing types. However, its data is generally time-lagged by about a month.
  • In Scotland, the authority is www.ros.gov.uk, which has fairly similar functions, along with graphs mapping changes over time. Once more, there is a short-ish time-lag on the data.
  • Halifax’s price index, updates faster than the Land Registry and goes back all the way - as it proudly states - to 1983. However, that particular data may only be useful to time travellers. Joking aside, the index features house prices by postcode and an interactive regional map, handy for the less tech-savvy. A downside is that it is all based on mortgage approvals, which do not always result in completed deals.
  • Nationwide’s house price index, is similar, including national and regional data downloads and more detailed analysis in a user-friendly format.
  • www.housepricecrash.co.uk collects data from sources such as the Land Registry, the Financial Times and Hometrack and crunches it into sales trends, then produces housing price forecasts.

Get a ballpark valuation of your property

Several websites offer free valuations that can give you a rough estimate of your property price. However, it’s not a good idea to rely on these completely, as they can often leave out important details that would otherwise affect values. For a general indicator, try the price calculator at www.propertypriceadvice.co.uk, though beware - reviews say that it tends to overvalue properties.

Calculate the value of your property

Remember the Nationwide house price index? It also contains a price calculator. If you enter your house’s price when you first bought it, it will factor in market changes and come up with an approximate current value. It gives a good idea of how prices will have changed over time. However, what it is not programmed to do is take into account home improvements or exact locations, meaning results are best taken with a pinch of salt.

These are only suggestions: there are many sites to look at that will give you approximate valuations. For example, you could try Zoopla for a very wide pricing guide for your area.

Take a look at your house's location and condition

When valuing any house, location is always the biggest concern. Look at:

Structure should also be at the top of the list:

  • Does your house have damp proofing, drainage systems and insulation? Are they in good condition?
  • Are there any urgent matters that need addressing before you attempt to market your property?
  • What is the general standard of decoration throughout your home? Could it do with a little sprucing up before you sell?
  • Are there any faults in accessible parts of the property?

Be realistic about your property price

A reasonable price will encourage more interest than an optimistically high one. Attempt to cover all the different aspects of your house in your valuation- ensure you haven’t left any skeletons in the closet! Always remember that you will need to justify your price in the near future and make sure that everything about your house backs you up.