1) When should you get a house valuation?
As soon as you decide that you want to sell your home you should get your property valued. This will inform your asking price and also give you an idea of the types of property you can afford to buy next, particularly if you are looking to upsize or move to a more expensive area. Even if you are unsure about whether you actually want to move house or not, it can be really helpful to get a valuation to see if a house move is the best option financially, or whether remodelling or extending your existing property is a better plan.
If you have no intention of selling your home, there are still times when a property valuation is necessary. Such as when you come to remortgage or if you need to release equity from the property.
As a buyer, you may feel the need to get an independent valuation of a property you are interested in, particularly if it is a particularly bespoke property or has been marketed with a guide price or for offers ‘in the region of/in excess of’. You will, of course, need to seek the permission of whoever owns the property before you arrange the valuation.
2) What should I do to prepare for a house valuation?
Whilst any marketing photographs of the property will be taken at a later date when you have commissioned an estate agent, it is still helpful to declutter and make sure your home looks at its best in advance of the valuation. Don’t forget the outside of your property as well, as this is often the first thing both the valuer and prospective buyers will see. An untidy and neglected from garden or a dirty front door are not the first impression you want to give!
You should also do your research and check out property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla to see what local properties have been selling for recently to give you a rough idea of what your property is worth. There are a number of free online valuation tools which can help with this as well, but an in-person valuation by a local expert will always give you a more accurate valuation.
3) How much does it cost to get your house valued?
A property valuation should always be free of charge.
There may be instances when you need to pay for a valuation – such as for a mortgage application, a Help to Buy loan or if you know that remedial work is required before you sell your home and need to incorporate an assessment from a qualified surveyor. However, if you are seeking a valuation of your own property with a view to selling it, the agent undertaking the valuation will have an interest in marketing the property for you and taking a fee from the sale, so they shouldn’t be charging a fee for the initial valuation.
Do make sure that you have not signed yourself up to working with a specific agent to market and sell the property when you ask them to undertake the valuation though and be aware that some agents will over-inflate the valuation price to try and tempt you to sell with them.
4) You should always get more than one property expert to undertake your valuation.
To find out the most accurate asking price for your property, industry experts Yopa always advise asking more than one valuer to undertake a valuation.
According to Yopa, “Whilst it is tempting to go with the highest valuation you receive, you should be aware that the value an agent places on your property may be affected by how keen they are to secure you as a client or the type of fee that they charge. … If you have only sought two valuations and there is a big difference between them, ask another independent agent to undertake a valuation. If you have sought valuations from high street agents initially, then ask an online or hybrid agent to value your property next, or vice versa.”
5) What will a valuer be looking at during a property valuation?
When they assess your home, a valuer will be considering the condition of your property, its layout and any particularly distinctive features or assets such as private gardens and parking before they provide you with their estimate of how much the property will sell for based on the current market.
Whilst the valuer should have an in-depth knowledge of the local property market and what other similarly sized and appointed properties nearby have sold for in recent months, don’t be afraid to point out what you believe to be the main selling points of the property – particularly if they may not be immediately obvious at the viewing. This may include being within the catchment area for good schools and handy local transport links. You should also let the valuer know about any improvements or alterations you have made to the property since you bought it, since their valuation will consider the last price the property sold for and it may have changed significantly since then, even if you only bought it within the past few years.