If you’re putting your property on the market for the first time, it can be tough knowing how the valuation process works. From how to get a valuation to what to do if you aren’t satisfied with the valuation, find out all you need to know at Stanfords.
How to get a property valuation
In the digital age, it’s unsurprising that popping into your local estate agents branch isn’t the only way to find out what your property is worth. Nowadays, you might be able to get a valuation at the touch of a button, but that doesn’t mean to say it takes into account the current climate in the local area, the condition of the property or the new extensions you may have just completed.
Get a free online valuation
Many popular housing sites now offer tools where you can get a free property valuation. These sites often use data from the Land Registry and the Registers of Scotland to inform their valuations.
Usually, you’ll input data about the property and area such as the postcode, and will be asked what your relationship is to the property – for example, the homeowner, a tenant, interested in buying or just curious. In order to actually get the valuation, you’ll likely have to input contact details such as an email address.
While getting an online property valuation can be an easy first step to getting a property valuation, the estimates can be a far cry from the valuation a professional estate agent would give. MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis cautions against relying too heavily on these valuations, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves: ‘Take instant valuations with a pinch of salt. Never rely on the figures given – treat it as a fun investigation, rather than anything more’.
The results are based on algorithms that use local land registry data which is historic by default. This data includes the property’s previous sold price and annual property price changes; needless to say these are such sweeping data points that an online property valuation could be wildly inaccurate.
Seek the knowledge of a local estate agent
The most reliable way of valuing your property is to request a valuation from a respected estate agent in your area. They’ll combine their expert local knowledge and impression after visiting the property with data points about the housing market in general and current market trends.
How is a property valuation calculated?
Both online valuations and in-person valuations will take into consideration the age of the property, the previous sale prices and the size of the property. However, local estate agents will be able to also employ their expert knowledge of the locality – including what similar properties in the area have sold for – in order to provide a more accurate valuation for your property.
In order to get an accurate overall view of the property, your estate agent will visit the property to see its size, layout and condition. They’ll take note of how many bedrooms, reception rooms and bathrooms the property has, as well as any ‘unusual’ features that could either bump the valuation up or reduce it.
The condition of the property is a huge factor that informs the valuation it will receive. How long it has been since refurbishments have been carried out to key rooms – such as the kitchen or bathrooms – and any signs of wear and tear are also points that will be taken into consideration. The location and external environment as well as the neighbourhood could also be a significant contributing factor to the price point.
Alongside this evaluation, estate agents will consider the council tax band that the property falls under and if there is any planning permission in place for the property, in order to make a more accurate valuation.
How long does a property valuation take?
Property valuations from a local estate agent aren’t a time-consuming affair – they usually take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the property and the number of rooms to inspect. The estate agent will take the information they gathered during the inspection and combine this with the latest housing market trends and any specific trends in the area.
How long does a property valuation last?
A property valuation is typically valid for six months. However, individual providers may set their own limits on this, so it is always best to check.
We’d recommend that a valuation from three or four months ago be renewed so that it takes into account the most up-to-date market information – we all know how fast things can change in the property industry! A recent valuation is non-negotiable when preparing to list your property for sale or let.
How to appeal a property valuation
If you’ve received a free online property valuation that you aren’t happy with, then the next step is to get a property valuation with a local estate agent and compare the area-informed valuation they provide with the online valuation. If the valuation is for the purposes of selling or letting your property and you are still unhappy with the valuation, ask your estate agent to clarify why they have valued the property as they have, and if any aspects of the property brought down the valuation – such as needed refurbishments.
It’s important to remember though, that estate agents are best placed to value properties as they have crucial insights into local markets that you may not be aware of. It is absolutely fine to ask for clarification and the valuers reasoning, as an estate agent’s valuation (Market Appraisal) will be based on their professional opinion and local expertise.
Some people need to obtain a property valuation in order to get a mortgage – simply put, the mortgage lender needs to check that the property is worth the amount the applicant says it is. If they are unsatisfied with the valuation given by the mortgage lender, there is usually an appeals process that the applicant can start.
This typically involves collating evidence that suggests the property is worth more than the valuation. This could include: how much other properties in the area have sold for, general housing market data targeted to the property (e.g. terraced properties in London) or an estate agents’ valuation. While it is possible to appeal mortgage valuations, the likelihood is that the valuation will not change.
Get a free no obligation property valuation with Stanfords
Forgo the tentative online property valuations and get a free informed property valuation in South East London with Stanford Estates. We cover the Forest Hill, Catford and Hither Green areas of Lewisham in London. Tell us a little bit about the property and pick a time that suits your schedule best, and one of our experienced estate agents will contact you to confirm the appointment.
There’s absolutely no obligation with a property valuation from Stanfords, so you can benefit from our unrivalled local knowledge and insights into the UK housing market with no pressure. After your valuation, you can easily sell or let a property with us – where we’ll do the heavy lifting to take your property off your hands.