How To Estimate The Value Of Your UK Home In 7 Steps
Determining the value of your home is an important process when considering selling in the UK property market. While getting an official valuation by a surveyor is advisable, you can also make an informed estimate yourself using the following 7 steps
- Research Recent Sale Prices Of Comparable Properties
The first step is researching what similar properties to yours have recently sold in your local area. This gives you a good baseline for the current market value. Look at homes that are equivalent in terms of
- Location How close are they? Ideally within 0.5 miles.
- Property type Detached, semi-detached, terrace, number of bedrooms.
- Size Check the square footage against your property.
- Facilities Garage, parking, garden etc.
Condition Compare the state of repair and standard of fixtures & fittings.
Online sites like Rightmove and Zoopla allow you to view sold prices as well as current property listings in your postcode. Look at a minimum of 5-10 comparable sold homes if possible.
- Factor In Any Major Refurbishments Or Extensions
Properties that have been significantly updated with extensions, loft conversions or had a lot of money spent on renovations can increase the property value versus their neighbours.
Make a list of any major works you’ve done and try to estimate costs. Refurbishments like kitchen/bathroom upgrades, rewiring, roof replacements etc all add value. Extensions and conversions can easily increase a property’s worth by 20% or more.
- Account For The General Area And MARKET TRENDS
While you’ve looked at comparable sold prices, it’s important to also consider the current state of the market and any price trends in your local area and nationally.
The UK property market fluctuates, with periods of rapid price growth and plateaus or declines. Has your area been booming lately with strong buyer demand? Or has the market slowed, with properties taking longer to sell and more reductions in asking prices?
Online house price indexes like the Land Registry’s UK HPI track average property value changes month-to-month. This gives you an idea of momentum in the market. Rising prices will increase your home’s value, while declines eat into what buyers will pay.
- Get An Estate Agent’s Appraisal
While online research will get you in the ballpark, it’s also advisable to get some professional valuations by inviting local estate agents around to your property. Most will provide a free initial appraisal where they will inspect your home and give you their estimated selling price.
- How they’ve arrived at their valuation figure.
- What comparable properties they are basing this on?
- What similar homes have recently achieved sales prices wise.
Get appraisals from 3 different agents for a cross-section of opinions. But remember they may deliberately pitch valuations slightly lower to get your business!
- Calculate The GDV – Gross Development Value
If your property has additional potential for extensions, conversions or planning consent for other works, calculate the Gross Development Value (GDV).
This is the maximum value of the property after hypothetical works are completed.
For example, a 3-bedroom semi could be converted to a 5-bedroom home by extending into the loft and building a rear extension. Create some plans for such works and get quotes from builders to calculate the GDV.
While you may not undertake the work, the GDV gives a top-end estimate that developers may pay if they can increase the property’s value.
- Factor In Your Location’s Desirability
Some areas and streets naturally hold more value than others due to their reputation, facilities and infrastructure.
Prime central London locations like Kensington have consistently higher prices than outer regions. Within towns, there are often desirable roads and postcodes that fetch higher sales prices.
School catchment areas are also a major influence on prices. Properties in catchments of top Ofsted-rated schools can potentially gain 20% extra value.
- Adjust The Price For ‘Kerb Appeal’
While inside condition is important, kerb appeal also plays a big role in value. Properties that look attractive on the street tend to sell for higher prices than those that look unkempt and unattractive.
If your home’s exterior looks worn and dated, consider deducting 5-10% from your valuation. For properties in very poor visual condition, this discount may be up to 20%.
However, if your property’s exterior has been recently updated e.g. new roof, front door, rendering etc or is situated in an enviable plot, add 5-10% to your valuation.
How Accurately Can You Price Your Home?
By following the 7 steps above and combining extensive research with professional appraisals, you can realistically value your home to within 5-10% of the final achievable selling price in the current market.
This gives you a solid figure to work from when preparing your property for sale. Remember to keep an eye on market movements and be prepared to adjust your pricing accordingly.
Don’t be tempted to overprice based on renovation costs or emotional attachment. While you may have spent £50,000 on upgrades, the market may only reflect £40,000 of this in the achievable sale price.
Pricing Too High Will Limit Viewings And Interest
Overpricing by even 5-10% above achievable value can deter potential buyers from viewing or making offers. This can prolong the sale process or mean you eventually sell for less.
But by pricing sensibly you can expect to sell within 3-6 months in an average market. This assumes professional photography, listings across major portals and an effective marketing campaign by your agent.
Consider Using A Professional Surveyor For The Most Accurate Valuation
For the most precise estimate of your home’s worth, consider an official RICS valuation by a chartered surveyor. This will cost around £200-£500 but provides an authoritative value and thorough inspection condition report.
Banks often require such surveys for mortgage lending purposes too. While optional, it gives total confidence in your pricing being realistic and market-aligned.
Maximise Your Sale Price By Presenting Your Property In The Best Possible Light
To optimise the valuation and achieve the maximum sale price for your property, ensure it is presented in the best possible light by
- Thoroughly cleaning and de-cluttering to make rooms appear larger and brighter.
- The neutral, light decor creates the broadest appeal – bold finishes can be polarising.
- Small upgrades like new door handles, taps and bathroom fittings create an excellent first impression.
- Ensure fixtures like heating, electrics and plumbing are serviced and in working order.
- External areas should be jet-washed, lawns cut, and flower beds weeded.
- Be flexible with viewing times to suit maximum potential buyers.
Remember, you can only sell your home once. So investing time and money into preparing and marketing your property effectively will maximise your sale price to capitalise on your asset.
How To Pick The Right Estate Agent To Sell Your House
Choosing the right estate agent is crucial to ensuring maximum viewings and achieving the best price possible. Here are 7 tips on how to pick the best agent
- Choose an agent familiar with your area
Seek agents that demonstrate extensive local knowledge and ideally live in the area themselves. They will have unparalleled insight into market trends and demand locally.
- Check their recent sales prices in your neighbourhood
Review the agent’s recent sales in your postcode – are they achieving close to asking prices? Are they selling promptly within 1-3 months? Poor sales prices can indicate ineffective marketing and overpricing.
- Ask about their marketing strategy
Enquire about marketing channels – number of portals they list on, enhanced advertising options, brochure distribution. High-impact marketing attracts more buyers.
- Request client references
Ask the agent for phone numbers or emails of recent clients you can contact for references. This can give you a sense of their customer service and satisfaction ratings.
- Go with experience
While new agents can still perform well, long-established agents tend to have greater market share and reputation. Look for a minimum of 5-10 years trading preferably.
- Don’t just go for the highest valuation
Some agents will overvalue to win your business. But an unrealistic price will just mean a longer selling period or lower eventual offers.
- Trust your instincts
Ultimately you need an agent you have confidence in and whom you can establish an effective working relationship with. Don’t just go for the hardest seller – focus on quality of service and communication style.
The Cost Of Selling Your House In The UK
While selling a house, the first question coming to your mind is ‘How much is my house worth’? Beyond just picking the right estate agent, be aware of the other typical costs involved when selling residential property in the UK
Estate Agent Fees
Most charge 1-3% plus VAT of the final sale price. The average is around 1.5%. Watch out for cheaper ‘introductory’ rates that then flip to higher ongoing fees.
A solicitor charges around £1000-£1500 for all legal work transferring the property title deeds. Additional disbursements like searches may be extra.
Mortgage Exit Fees
If you are still in an existing mortgage deal, early repayment charges may apply. This can be 1-5% of the loan depending on the lender.
Cleaning And Fix-Ups
Expect to spend £500-£1000 making the property look its best for viewings and sale. From decluttering to minor repairs.
Many now invest in professional staging to style their property – averaging £1000 for a 2-3 bed home.
Budget £500-£1000 for a local move. Long distance will be more.
Capital Gains Tax
You may be liable if you make gains above the £12,300 annual allowance. Tax is due at 18% or 28% depending on income.
So in total budget around 3-7% of the property value to cover the full costs of moving, on top of agents fees. Additional expenses may include building surveys, valuations, initiating works required by buyers’ surveys etc.
Maximising Your Sale Price
To achieve the maximum possible price when selling your property
- Present it in the best possible condition
Buyer’s offer based on first impressions – so freshen up decor, tidy gardens, make repairs.
- Be flexible with viewings
The more viewers, the greater the chance of multiple offers. Make access as easy as possible.
- Market extensively
Utilise online portals, brochures, social media, and ‘for sale’ boards to publicise widely.
- Price competitively
Aim fractionally below comparable properties to generate interest quickly.
- Negotiate calmly
Don’t get emotional or defensive if offers are under the asking price. Assess objectively.
- Prepare thoroughly
Have solicitors lined up, leasehold details, EPC, floorplans, and local searches ready for buyers.
- Maintain kerb appeal
Keep external appearance immaculate until sold – freshly cut lawns, swept paths etc.
- Work with interested buyers
If buyers need minor work done, flexibility with this can sometimes achieve a higher price.
- Be responsive
Reply to all enquiries, emails, and calls from viewers promptly to maintain momentum.
- Remain patient
Reject lowball offers, and be prepared to wait a while for the right buyer at the right price. Avoid being pressured into dropping too low.
Showcasing your home in the best possible light and allowing prospective buyers to easily visualise living there will lead to more viewings, offers and optimal sales prices. Avoid falling into the trap of endless cheap minor cosmetic fixes – focus on improvements that maximise the property’s potential.
Buying a house is a major financial decision and likely the largest investment you will make in your lifetime. By thoroughly researching the market, taking the necessary steps to finance the purchase responsibly, hiring professionals to guide you, and following the tips outlined here, you can find and secure your ideal home while avoiding critical mistakes.
While factors like pricing, mortgage rates and competition from other buyers are outside of your control, you can control the actions you take to put yourself in the strongest position as a buyer. Patience and discipline are key – resist the temptation to overpay or take on more debt than you can truly afford.
Owning your own home provides security, stability and freedom. By determining your must-have location and property features, viewing rigorously, negotiating calmly and rationalising with your head rather than heart, the dream of homeownership can become a reality.