Are you looking to sell your home? Before placing your property on the housing market, you’ll need to have it valued. This provides you with an understanding of the price you could achieve for your home.
A property valuation is a simple yet vital part of selling your home. If you are unsure of the value, you could be marketing it too low, meaning you walk away with significantly less than the true worth. On the other hand, you may also end up over-pricing and struggling to make a sale at all – again, leading you to take away a lesser amount.
So, how do you discover the true value of property and thereby ensure you are not losing out when selling your home? In today’s Seymours’ article, we’ll be highlighting the key signs you should be looking out for when receiving a property valuation from your estate agent and revealing some of the improvements that really increase the value of your home.
What is a valuation?
Put simply, a property valuation is the process of receiving an estimate worth of your home from an estate agent. This is based on a number of different factors including location, size, the current housing market and condition, and is given to help you build up an idea of what a fair asking price might be. The current housing market plays a huge part in the worth of your home, during economic falls you may notice a significant drop in the value. Therefore, timing your sale and working with the right estate agent is essential.
Finding out the value of property can be done online, however, it is always recommended that an estate agent visits your home. They’ll have received specific training to assess your home accurately; someone physically seeing your property will have a fully rounded picture to form this valuation upon in opposition to the limited viewpoint an online agent will have.
Getting a fair property valuation: The key signs to look out for
Valuations are often overlooked; as the initial starting block when selling your home, many people don’t pay close attention to the price suggested and use the first, or highest value received. However, we should consider the value of property as perhaps the most crucial aspect of a sale, as it acts as the foundation for the overall process. So, let’s have a look at some of the key steps you can take to ensure you receive a fair valuation:
#1 Get a rough estimate with an online tool
A free, instant online valuation can be a great starting point to find a ballpark figure. And, there are a range of different tools now available allowing you to build a more rounded picture of what an accurate estimation may be. The valuation provided will usually be based on data such as previous sale prices, asking prices, property characteristics and market climate.
Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration the condition or any developments to your home due to the automated nature of these sites.
#2 Use a reputable estate agent that knows the local market in your area
You may be thinking, why do I need to check the value of property with an estate agent if I’ve already used an online tool? Online free valuations should be taken with a pinch of salt as they can often be unrealistic and a long way off an achievable asking price; think of them as more of an investigation.
Property valuations can vary wildly from estate agent to estate agent, but it’s critical that you utilise a local agency. They’ll know the local market and surrounding areas like the back of their hand, regularly pricing and viewing properties in the area. Here are just a few of the benefits of a local estate agent:
- They’ll hold the most accurate and up-to-date information about the surrounding areas and any buyer points of interest, such as local schools, amenities and landmarks.
- A local estate will be aware of any new developments in the area which may have an impact on the value of your property (be this an increase or decrease).
- Local estate agencies will have the experience and expertise, taking everything into consideration including the condition of your property in comparison to similar homes.
- In addition, they can connect you with local, reputable tradespeople to increase the value of your property based on their recommendations.
#3 Look at the house prices of those similar to your property
Once you’ve received your property valuation, you should compare this with similar properties in your area. There will inevitably be some fluctuation in price due to location, layout, storage and condition but, this should again reveal where your property roughly lies in the current marketplace.
It’s important to understand where your home will sit once released into the market; if an estate agent has given you an exceedingly high valuation, you may be unable to sell for lack of interest and be forced to severely lower your asking price and if set to low, you may walk away with significantly less than the true value of property. The best estate agents will have the experience and expertise to accurately place your home on the market, ultimately providing you with the best possible sale.
#4 What recommendations to add to the value of property has the estate agent given you?
It’s common knowledge that your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning. However, your estate agent should also recommend some other small home improvements too which will impact the value of your home. You should pay significant attention to what they suggest – if they suggest anything at all. This will be a clear indication of the investment your estate agent has in your property, are they trying to secure you the best possible chance to sell your home for the highest, achievable price?
Of course, there are some long term projects that can increase the value of your home but the estate agent may suggest:
- Maintenance: Ensuring all doors are secure, the outside of the property is in good shape (i.e. guttering, cracking, gardening), your boiler is checked (bonus if you can improve the energy efficiency!) and any other maintenance tasks are completed. However, avoid any ‘quick fixes’ as these may actually damage the value of property.
- Redecorating: Buyers are generally more attracted to neutral palettes as it’s easier for them to then picture what they would do with the space. In addition, redecorating tends to be a relatively simple process – from a lick of fresh paint to a replacement for a peeling wallpaper.
- Cleaning: It may seem obvious, but this is beyond your usual cleanse and tidy. Your estate agent may suggest shampooing the carpets or pressure washing the patio.
These suggestions should, however, take into consideration your target audience and improvements should be made to try and reflect their needs. For example, is your house most likely to appeal to young professionals? A room could be set aside as an office or you could add an extra shower room. If young families are the most likely buyers, could you turn the adjoining garage into a playroom?
#5 Fluctuations and market forecasting
No one can tell you exactly what will happen to house prices, but many will try. Just a simple search online and you’ll be met with hundreds of articles claiming a soon-to-come surge or plummet which can be off-putting for many sellers. Speak to your estate agent to understand their predictions. They may be able to offer some valuable insight into the constantly contrasting forecasting as they are regularly monitoring patterns within the market. They’ll be able to reassure you of your situation and offer advice to ensure you secure the best possible sale price.
There are a number of key steps you need to take with your estate agent to ensure you can walk away fully trusting your property valuation. It’s clear to see the importance of this estimation, it will set the tone for the remainder of your selling experience and therefore, it is vital this is accurate yet secures you the optimal final price.
Why Seymours: Surrey’s local estate agents
Our Seymours team have nearly 30 years of experience selling properties within the Surrey area. So, we have the expertise and experience to accurately value your home to ensure you can sell your property with confidence. Throughout the process, from the initial valuation to the final handing over of the keys, our dedicated and passionate team will be on hand to offer you support and reassurance whenever you need it. Our proactive approach within the Surrey area allows us to secure the very best possible price for your home, and our accurate valuations play a major role in this success. What’s more, all of our agents work and live within the local area and can tailor their viewings specifically to a potential buyer interested in your home.
Sell your property with the experts today: choose Seymours Estate Agents.
If you’d like free market advice or need an instant property valuation you can trust, get in touch with the team at Seymours using this contact form, or call us at one of our 19 dedicated branches here.