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Can I add value to my house before a valuation?

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When it comes to selling, the first thing you may wonder is ‘how much is my house worth’ and after getting a rough answer, you may start to wonder how to add value to your home before getting an in-person valuation.

We’ve written a full guide on how to add value to your home, including what a house valuation is, why you may want to add value to your house before getting one and what brings down a property value and so much more:

What is a house valuation?

A house valuation is an assessment of your property carried out by an estate agent in order to decide how much your property is worth. A valuation will be carried out in person and your property’s location, condition, size and various other factors will be taken into account. The price that you get as a result of the valuation will be where the estate agent believes you should be pricing your house on the open market in order to sell.

Getting a valuation on your property is important for you being both a buyer and seller. As a seller, it gives you an idea of how much you can expect to get for your property should you choose to sell on the open market. As a buyer, with you having a rough idea as to what you will get for your property on the open market, this then gives you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on your next property.

It's recommended you get several house valuations from a few different estate agents in order to be fully informed as to what the range is for what your property could be worth. You also need to be wary of estate agents giving you a high valuation of your property simply because they want your business, but when it comes to selling through them, they’re not actually able to get you a figure near this price.

There are also different types of valuation that will be carried out by a RICS surveyor or a mortgage lender. A surveyor or mortgage lender’s survey will be less biased and more realistic compared to an estate agent's, as they’re not trying to ‘win’ your business.

A RICS survey will be conducted on your property on behalf of your buyer to give them peace of mind that your property doesn’t have any major issues, that could negatively impact the property’s value.

A mortgage lender’s valuation is also taken out on behalf of the buyer. Essentially, during this valuation, the mortgage lender is ensuring that your property is worth the price that your buyer is paying. This is because the mortgage lender needs to be confident that they will be able to get their money back, should the buyer not be able to make their payments, and therefore the house needs to be sold.

With a mortgage lender’s valuation, if their valuation doesn’t match the price the buyer is paying, the mortgage lender will not lend the amount the buyer is asking for in order to purchase your property and can therefore lead to your sale falling through.

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Are house valuations accurate?

So, if you’re going to take the time and effort to go through getting a house valuation, it’s important to know how accurate they really are.

A house valuation will be more accurate than using an online tool for a house price estimate, as your property is being valued in person and therefore, they’re able to take into account the quality of decorations and they’re also getting the most up-to-date information.

Sometimes online calculators struggle to give you an accurate estimate for your property because you may have redecorated or extended the property since you bought it, but this isn’t widely known information, so the online calculator will be giving you a value based on the data available when you bought the property.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, although an in-person estate agent valuation will be more accurate compared to an online calculator, it still won’t be the most accurate form of valuation you can get.

This is because, as we mentioned, estate agents are all fighting to win your business so they will give you a valuation for your property that’s higher than what it’s really worth, just to make you choose to sell your property on the market with them.

The most accurate house valuation you will get will be that from a RICS surveyor or a mortgage lender, but you will only get this kind of valuation survey once you have found a buyer and so won’t be of use to you at the start of your selling journey.

Why add value to your house before selling?

Whilst you’re unable to control major factors that will affect the value of your property, such as the market conditions, your property’s location and the number of people it will appeal to, there is one thing you’re able to control that will have a big impact on its value and this is its condition.

There’s no denying that properties in better condition will appeal to a wider majority of people, making them worth more and sell quicker. This is why a lot of ‘soon-to-be’ sellers look at renovating or redecorating before looking to get their house on the market.

When hearing the phrase ‘adding value’ a lot of potential sellers may think of major renovations, like extensions or knocking down walls, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are many more minor changes that can be made in order to increase your home’s ‘curb appeal’.

How much your property is worth will also depend on how valuable it is to its target market, and this is something you should keep in mind when trying to add value to your house before selling. For example, if your property is likely to appeal to an older couple, installing a downstairs toilet to help with accessibility is likely to be appealing and therefore is an improvement worth adding.

Before trying to add value to your property you need to decide whether or not the money you’re spending on improvements is actually going to be worth your while when it comes to the amount of value it will really add to your sold price and whether you will be able to at least get your money back, if not more.

How to add value to your home before valuation

When you’re looking at how to add value to your home before a valuation, there is a range of things you’re able to do, from some more minor changes, like repainting a few walls, to something more major, like adding in a new heating system.

Below we’ve detailed both the major and minor changes you can make to add value to your house before getting a valuation and putting it on the market:

The bigger changes

  • Open plan living space – In more recent times, most potential buyers tend to have a preference for open plan living space, as it gives the illusion of a bigger and brighter space. By knocking down a few walls, you can turn a separate kitchen and dining room into one big area, making it appear bigger and better. This adjustment can be done fairly quickly and could add up to 5% in value to your house. However, this, of course, isn’t going to be cheap to do so you will have to be confident it’s going to be worth your while
  • Kitchen update – A kitchen upgrade could be something more minor like new worktops or a new hob to something more major like a complete overhaul. Whatever you choose to do, an updated kitchen should add value to your property and should outweigh the costs and effort of having the work done
  • Downstairs bathroom – If your property is targeted towards an older generation, then installing a downstairs bathroom will help boost the value, as it helps with accessibility, and therefore makes the property more appealing
  • Loft or cellar conversion – Converting your loft or cellar allows you to make use of existing space, whilst also making the actual living space of the property bigger. This is one of the more costly conversions but can also lead to the biggest increase in value, with some conversions adding up to 20%
  • Add a home office – With COVID causing an increasing number of people to work from home, designated office space at your home is becoming a high priority to buyers, making a home with one more valuable
  • Add an ensuite – Creating an ensuite for at least one of the bedrooms is a great way to add value to your property, without the need to extend, as you’re making use of space that already exists in a bedroom. Having at least one bedroom with an ensuite will make your house appealing to a wider range and therefore more valuable
  • New heating system – It’s common for a buyer to face a broken boiler soon after moving into a property, meaning buyers are now clued up on checking a boiler and will happily try to negotiate you down if your boiler is over a certain age, meaning a new boiler will make your house more valuable

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The smaller changes

  • Repaint – Giving your house a fresh coat of paint, both on interior and exterior walls, can increase your property value by up to £5,000, making it worth the time and money
  • Put in a shed – Adding a garden feature, like a shed, increases available space for storage or general living and is said to make a property more desirable, with research finding that 82% of estate agents agreeing that a decent-sized shed would be one of the best additions to the exterior of your property when it comes to adding value
  • Tidy up the garden – Something a little simpler than adding a shed to your garden is simply tidying up the garden by mowing the lawn, getting rid of weeds and adding in some plants. This will help to increase your property’s curb appeal and therefore could increase your property’s value
  • Declutter – A messy house gives the bad impression that your house is less cared for, making buyers think they may be able to get it for a lower price. A messy house also makes a property look a lot smaller, which can also have a negative impact on your property’s value
  • Improve your Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi speed is extremely important, not just for the younger generation but also with the new increased number of people who work from home as a result of COVID, meaning fast Wi-Fi is a bigger priority now than ever
  • Get planning permission – Whilst you may not be looking to extend your property, by applying for planning permission your home becomes more appealing to buyers who would have the budget to extend your property. A house with planning permission will have some buyers willing to pay up to 10% more
  • A new front door – The first thing a potential buyer will see is your front door and first impressions really do count. A neat and tidy front door will set the tone for the rest of the house, making a buyer see the house is cared for and therefore making it more desirable

What brings down property value?

Whilst you may be wondering how to add value to your home, it’s equally important that you’re not doing anything that will actually negatively affect your property value. Our list below goes through some of the main areas that may be leading to your house being devalued so you know what to avoid:

  1. Structural damage – No potential buyers will want to live in a property that needs a lot of money spent on it to fix structural problems. Whether your house has missing roof tiles or cracks in some of the walls, ignoring the problem is only going to make your property drop in value
  2. Location – Although, as we mentioned earlier, location isn’t something you’re able to change, it is a factor that’s going to impact how much your property is worth. Some locations will be desirable to one demographic and not others, meaning poor location will only bring down the value for those who may not be your ‘target’ market. For example, a house close to schools would be worth a lot to families with young children, but to an elderly retired couple this would be something that would put them off your property
  3. Pets – Of course, we would never suggest not having a pet just for the sake of a property sale, but property owners who allow their pets in every room and on every piece of furniture can see a drop in their property value by up to 5%
  4. Old-fashioned décor and furnishings – Whilst all buyers will have their own individual taste, ‘clean looking’ décor will appeal to most people. Expressing your unique taste through your house’s furnishings and decorations will reduce the number of people who find your property appealing and therefore reduce the value of your property
  5. Bad neighbours – Whilst there’s not a lot you can do about your neighbours, if they’re obviously a nuisance when buyers come to view your property then this will negatively impact your property’s value
  6. Over-developed property – Whilst adding an extension is generally looked on as a positive way to add value to your home, it’s also possible to over-develop. Over-developing will result in a garden that is too small in proportion to the house, with the house almost reaching its boundaries, causing a negative impact on a property’s value
  7. Clutter – A cluttered living space is one that will look smaller and will give off the impression that a house isn’t cared for, making it less desirable and therefore having a negative effect on a property’s value

How to value my house

There are many different ways you can go about getting your house valued, so the choice is completely up to you and what suits you best.

One option you have is to get one, or a few, estate agents into your property to conduct an in-person valuation. During this valuation, they will look around your house and take into account its size, location, quality of furnishing, garden size and many other different factors in order to give you what they believe is an accurate price for your property. You will normally be given this price on the day, once the agent has looked around your whole property and made their decision.

Of course, a problem with using an estate agent to value your property is that their figure won’t be fully accurate or realistic. This is because estate agents are trying to ‘win’ your business and make you want to sell your property on the market with them. As a result of this, they tend to give you a valuation for your property that is way too high and therefore unrealistic.

Another option you have is to use online house price calculators in order to get a rough valuation as to what your property is worth. Using an online calculator is much quicker and less hassle compared to an in-person valuation. All you need to do is enter your postcode and the house number and then you’re given a figure as to what the calculator believes your property is worth.

However, although the word ‘calculator’ suggests that the figure you’re given will be very accurate and exact, this is actually quite the opposite of reality. In fact, the figure you’re given from an online calculator will likely be even less accurate than that given by an estate agent. This is because there’s no in-person aspect of an online calculator and so the data the calculator may be using is unlikely to be the best and most up-to-date information, meaning that the valuation given won’t be entirely accurate.

Our final answer to ‘how to value my house’ is to come to us! We don’t just give you a value for your property, but it’s also the amount we’re able to pay in full to buy your house for cash, with all your fees covered. We’re able to give you an initial valuation after a phone call with you. Or, if you want a more accurate offer, we will set our team of underwriters to work on researching your property in order to give you the best figure possible. We also have regional managers with expert local knowledge should you wish for someone to come out and do an in-person valuation of your property.

We buy any property in any location and any condition, so we won’t be put off buying your property because it’s not in ‘tip top’ condition. This also means you don’t need to worry about spending lots of time and money adding value to your home before trying to sell.

Also, with us being cash buyers, we’re able to purchase your property in a fast timescale of your choice and, as mentioned, we will cover all the fees for you. We will also handle the whole process from start to finish, keeping you updated at every stage, making it a hassle-free way to sell your property.

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Why choose us?

We do more than giving you a house valuation or making you feel like you need to add value to your house before you can sell. The Property Buying Company is owned and operated by property professionals, founded in 2012, and with over 50 years of combined experience, you can be sure you’re in safe hands.

As we’ve mentioned, we’re also a member of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, further emphasising why we’re the people you can rely on. On top of this, we understand what it’s like to sell a property and all the stresses that can come along with it, so we will always be up for a chat to listen to your worries, and we will handle the whole process for you.

We’re also rated excellent on Trustpilot, with over 1,000 reviews.

We will always be open and honest about our service and process, with us telling you upfront what we’re able to offer you for your property. We will keep you constantly updated, including any issues we face and how we will do our best to overcome them for you.

On top of this, we buy any property in any condition, meaning you won’t feel the need to search up how to add value to your home before looking to sell.

We do more than just conducting a house valuation; we will give you a cash price that we can buy your house for in full, covering all the fees, including the legal ones, and also completing in a timescale of your choice! It’s never been easier to find your house value and sell fast!

  • We buy any house in any condition!
  • We can buy for CASH in a FAST timescale of your choice!
  • We cover all your fees!
  • We handle everything - it's a stress and hassle-free service!
  • We'll buy any type of property
  • We're members of The Property Ombudsman & the National Association of Property Buyers - we're a cash buyer you can trust!
  • We're highly rated on all major review platforms
  • Get a no-obligation offer in 24 hours!

Want to find out how much your property is worth & sell your house fast? It's best to give us a call on:

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We’re one of the leading we buy any house UK companies for residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash house buying facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

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