The easiest way to get a true indication of your property value is to have an estate agent come and provide a comprehensive valuation. If you’re not yet looking to move or you need to know for mortgaging purposes, this isn’t a service they’ll offer for free. However, if you are looking to go to market, they probably will do it for nothing as they want to secure the business.
Aside getting an estate agent over, Zoopla is always a good starting point to see what they think your house may be valued at, if it went to market today.
Their valuations on house prices are determined by a myriad of factors including what the house sold for previously, what houses in the area are selling for today, and economical influences locally, regionally and nationally. Though of course their algorithms are far more complex than that.
They can’t be completely certain of a house value as there may have been modifications made to the property that they are unaware of.
It’s also worth doing a double check of the area yourself to see if that is a good indicator. Look at properties within your street on Rightmove and sort by date sold and look at properties that are comparable to yours and what they sold for recently. The key factors are bedrooms, bathrooms, reception rooms and garden size, followed by garage, parking etc.
When you want a more accurate valuation (for when it comes to moving), its best to have 3 different estate agents come and review your property to give you a means for comparison.
Adding value to your property with home improvements
If you’re looking at adding value to your property, you can do so with home improvements.
When it comes to selling your house, your estate agent will want to know what work you’ve carried out since you purchased the property: have you updated the kitchen, bathrooms, windows/doors for example? Additionally, do you have a newish boiler and has it recently been serviced? How is the general décor?
If the décor and appliances were relatively modern to begin with (when you bought the house), or you’ve recently done your own work, the cost to update further or to your taste will unlikely be recouped when you resell. However, if it is considerably dated, renovating could add thousands to the value of your house.
Creating additional spaces such as extensions, loft conversions and conservatories can all add significantly more value to your property than it will cost to carry the work out. Ensuring you work with suppliers that work to budget and time of course.
If you’re in a house that would be considered an investment property, rather than a forever home, note that experts have spending limitations for return on investment that are worth bearing in mind when costing home improvement projects.
Follow the advice on the survey/carry out essential work before putting your house on the market
Did you enlist a surveyor to carry out a review of the integrity of the property when you bought it? If so, it is worth ensuring that the essential works are carried out before putting your property on the market. Especially if you’re looking to make more money on the property than you paid for it. This is also the case if you’re aware of any structural or other issues on the property that could be flagged during another survey.
You have to assume that everyone who will want to buy your property, particularly if it is a period property, will want to have a more extensive survey carried out. This will immediately highlight any issues with the property that could result in a reduced offer. If you’re unable or unwilling to take a reduction in the asking price, you may find you’ll lose your buyer and if you’re in the process of purchasing somewhere, this may affect your ability to move forward with your purchase.
If you don’t want to carry out essential works, the house value should be reflective of this and the estate agent aware of any issues to allow them to carry out their role effectively.
It’s all in the detail
Finally, when it comes to putting your house on the market, in addition to the larger structural stuff, taking the time to freshen scruffy walls, ensuring that the lawn is well presented with freshly mown lawns and de-weeded planters etc. all go a long way into ensuring your house gets the best offer as quickly as possible. For more tips, check out our feature on preparing your home to sell.
Our tips are provided just for a little insight. We’re not financial experts and recommend that you seek financial advice from a mortgage broker or even your bank manager to get a better indicator on what may be available to you based on your personal circumstances. This article is a collation of our research and personal experience.
We’ve shared some of our other money matters features below which provides our tips on savings accounts, saving money on everyday purchases and ways in which you can better manage your personal accounts.