The Best Way to Find How Much Is My House Worth?
If you’re planning to sell your home fast, you need to know that the valuation you’ll get will be different for different methods you use. The duration you’ve set for the house to be sold and other personal circumstances too can have an impact on the amount you get from your home’s sale.
Types of home valuations
Valuations done over the phone and in person tend to be the most accurate ones. In case you want a quick home sale, you can contact a cash home buyer, who’ll do a desktop valuation of your property over the phone after understanding all the relevant details of your home and conducting some online research on similar properties in the area and the locality itself to make you an initial offer. In case you decide to go ahead, they’ll then conduct a complete, in-depth valuation in person to make you a final offer.
You could use online tools too for your home valuation. However, such online valuations would often be different from their in-depth counterparts conducted in person. Wondering why? To find the answer, we conducted a study where we used different online valuation tools for a few random samples of properties across the UK. We noticed the same patterns getting repeated again and again in the results. To keep things simple, we present our findings for a Durham-based 4-bedroom detached property.
The online tools we used gave us these valuations:
- Highest Price: £419,000
- Average Price: £309,000
- Lowest Price: £212,000
We were surprised to find a massive 97% increase between the lowest and the highest valuation for the same house. How could online valuation tools offer such significantly diverse valuation estimates for the same house?
Online valuation tools vs. in-person valuation
We agree that online valuation tools could give you a rough estimate of your home’s market value right away. But these are ballpark figures at the best. We used tools from leading regional and national businesses including high street estate agents, property listing sites, and online estate agents to arrive at the figures mentioned above.
Each of these website’s valuation tool has its own formula and algorithm to produce a valuation or collect data from different sources to offer you an estimated market value of your home. However, the way these calculations are made is never divulged, which makes it difficult to decide if they depict any solid truth.
Additionally, such online tools can never rival property valuations conducted in person by professionals. For instance, a property professional who visits your home would take several additional factors into consideration that an online tool could never do. So, if you have built a home extension or revamped your home, you would benefit a lot more when a property valuer visits your home. After all, an online valuation tool could perhaps never predict the financial benefit of an extra bedroom or a new open plan living area. It couldn’t even factor in the huge crack in your load-bearing wall, the repairs your bathroom plumbing needs, or the presence of growing damp. Thus, there are likely to be multiple variables that online tools can never possibly measure.
Additionally, since the formulas and sources used by these online tools vary widely, they could never be as reliable as the professional advice of an industry expert who visits your property and draws upon his/her years of experience with local properties for the correct valuation of your home. So, any suggested market value given by these tools should ideally be taken with a pinch of salt.
When you’re looking to get the most accurate and best and price for your property, it’s always wiser to trust RICS qualified valuers/surveyors to get your home assessed rather than depending on an online tool.
Find the value of my property – FAQs answered
If you’re looking to sell your house fast for cash and plan to approach a cash home buyer, you need to know answers to some questions.
- How’ll they do my property valuation?
After your first phone call, they’ll perform a desktop appraisal. For this purpose, they’ll use the details shared by you along with the data they get from RightMove Plus, Land Registry, and third party sources. Based on their findings, they’ll make you an initial offer. If you want to take it forward, they’ll send 2 RICS qualified valuers/surveyors – at the most, under rigorous health and safety guidance, for completing the valuation process. Then, they’ll consider the average of these in-person valuations to find your home’s true market value, based on which they’ll make you their final cash offer.
- Do they conduct online or in-person valuations?
As mentioned before, the final valuation of a reliable cash home buyer will always be based on their in-person valuations and desktop assessment (for which they’ll typically use RightMove Plus, LandRegistry, and other third party sources). They’re unlikely to use online tools as their widely variable results are unreliable and can be manipulated easily.
In some cases, cash home buyers could make you an offer based on directly comparable properties in the neighbourhood, thus doing away with an in-person valuation.
- How can I be assured of my home being valued correctly?
Reliable cash home buyers would use RICS qualified valuers/surveyors to assess your home and offer you the most accurate valuation of your property. Since getting the value wrong would mean such cash buyers risking the loss of their own money when reselling the property, you can rest assured of their processes being as precise and watertight as possible.
- If the in-person valuation is higher than the desk appraisal one, would you increase your offer?
In case the average of the in-person valuation is higher than the initial offer made based on desktop assessment, the final offer of a reliable cash buyer is likely to be 80%-90% of that higher figure. Similarly, if the in-person average is lower, the final offer would be 80%-90% of the lower figure.
- Why are property valuations so different from one another?
Property values can be extremely subjective. Your property’s worth would ultimately depend on what someone is ready to pay for it. Real estate agents or experienced valuers can determine your home’s value based on their own experiences, how the property market is performing, and the amount fetched by similar properties sold in their area. But they could frequently value the property higher to win the instruction, after which they’ll bring it down over time when it doesn’t sell for that price. Though online valuation tools will make comparable assumptions, they lack the in-person experience, which makes their estimated values widely different from in-person valuations.