Many of us turn to the internet to find answers nowadays. Whether you're looking for a nice restaurant to have dinner, or recommendations for a plumber, we search all sorts on a daily basis. One of the commonly searched terms in the property world is to find out the value of a house. Here we cover how you can estimate your house's value online.
Can I value my house online?
If you're looking to get an idea of your homes value, then there are ways in which you can find out online using an assortment of online tools, although we would say not to put your complete trust into these valuation tools and just take them with a pinch of salt.
If you're looking to find out how much your house is worth, then initially the best thing you can do is put your property through a couple of these online valuation tools by different providers, here are a few:
It's worth getting a valuation off multiple tools as they may be slightly different than one another.
How do they work? Most of them will just look at recent sold prices in your area for similar size properties, as well as the price your house previously sold and taking into account the property price increases or decreases in the local area. They often don't take into account the condition of the property & if there are several different kinds of properties in your area, or very few sales, they may struggle to get an accurate valuation.
Is valuing my house online free?
Yes, the ones we named above will offer you a free online valuation, you just have to answer a few questions about your property and give your details. They will likely get in touch with you to try and determine whether you want to sell your home.
Alternatively there is a lot of research you can do online yourself to determine your homes value or at the very least get a good idea, which we will dig into later.
Can I trust an online valuation?
In short, no. Like we've said this valuation should only be looked at with a pinch of salt, they can sometimes be considerably far off the actual valuation.
The main issues some of the tools have is they don't take into account:
- Condition: The tools aren't aware of the internal condition of your house. You could have major structural issues, or in turn just put in a new kitchen or bathroom, and that can make tens of thousands of pounds of difference to the homes value but it won't be taken into account. This is something you should be aware of, account for and compensate on when it comes to actually understanding the value of your property, however this can be tricky to do, because it isn't straight forward. If you put a brand new £10k kitchen in your home, it doesn't automatically mean that your house value rises by that amount.
- Recent Sales: Another major factor that these tools go on is the previous sale price of your property. This can be tricky, because again they have no idea if you overpaid or underpaid for your property. It's also a lot of guess work, if you bought your property a significant amount of time ago they estimate the value by looking at the inflation of the house prices in the area but that might not tell the full story, as you might live a slightly nicer or worse area than the other side of the town / city as an example.
- Local Comparables: Another main factor of these valuation is looking at nearby similar properties and what they have sold for in recent months or years, there can be problems with this however. There are areas where each street can differ in value signficantly, but that three bedroom house two streets away from you that sold for significantly lower than expected might impact your property valuation. You can even get particular streets where all the properties are valued different, you might have an older two bedroom terrace and further down the street there are new build two bedroom terraces, which naturally will sell for a higher value which will inflate your valuation.
As you can see, there are a lot of external factors and issues with online house price valuation tools, and you can't just trust the value that they provide.
How to get a more accurate valuation
You can get a valuation yourself by doing a little bit of online research and speaking to neighbours, this will likely give you a more accurate picture, here are just a few of the things you can do:
We all like to be nosy from time to time. Research what your neighbour's houses have sold for recently and compare them to yours. Do they have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms? If pretty similar, you could get a good idea of your house's value.
Be on trend
Local and national property price trends can be a good indicator of what your house is worth. The Land Registry provides average house prices per country and region, as well as per house type. This data can be a little out of date so bear this in mind when having a snoop.
Some mortgage lenders have house price indexes.Halifax's is based on approved mortgages, and shows a map of house prices. Bear in mind that an approved mortgage doesn't mean the sale has gone through.
Some places online provide free house valuations, but these can be drastically inaccurate or provide a large range in values. You can type a postcode into Zoopla to find out data on previous sale prices, market climates, property characteristics, and asking prices. Alternatively, you can go to Property Price Advice which looks at local sold prices and uses an algorithm to give you an estimate.
Be aware of change
House values change with time and market trends. On Nationwide's house price index, you can enter when you purchased your house and how much for, and it'll give you an estimate of how much your house could be worth now. If you've made changes to your home in this time such as an extension or a renovated bathroom, this valuation doesn't take that into account.
When looking into recent houses sold in the area, speaking to neighbours of whatever other bits of research you may do, you need to be savvy. There are often outliers, neighbours might overvalue their property, there might be someone locally that has sold their house much cheaper than what it's worth, and these are all things that you need to take into account.
Thinking of selling your home?
Are you reading this article because you're thinking of selling your house? Why not get a quote from us, The Property Buying Company. We will buy your house from you for cash, and complete in a timescale to suit you (even if it's just 7 days!). Get a free, initial no obligation cash offer from us in as little as 24 hours.