Property valuations are the starting point for the sale of your property and give you the chance to meet a handful of agents and to check the market to understand the likely value of your home if you were to decide to sell it in the immediate future. It gives you an estimate of the worth of your property at the time and is typically undertaken by an estate agent or an independent valuer.
When Should I Get a Valuation?
You can always get a valuation out of curiosity to understand the current value of your home, but really you should get it as close to when you intend to sell as possible. Typically, a valuation will be valid for up to three months. You can use the information you receive from the valuation not only to prepare for the sale of your home, but also to set your budget for your next home.
What Sort of Valuation Do I Need?
A valuation can be undertaken either by an estate agent or an independent valuer. Estate agent valuations are typically free of charge and provide an estimate as to the worth of the house ‘right now’ should you wish to sell it. This is normally sufficient for most people’s requirements, however circumstances like divorce and separation and probate (if the intention is to retain the property in particular), or the need for a retrospective valuation for tax purposes or insurance should usually be undertaken by an independent surveyor.
Desktop vs Visits
Desktop valuations are great to give you a ballpark figure for the worth of your property. They can help you to get a handle on rough values in the local area, but they are clinical and based on algorithms that don’t consider the beautiful bathrooms you’ve just had installed or on the flip side the cracked tiles in your kitchen. As such their accuracy is limited. A property valuation visit on the other hand allows the valuer to get an accurate handle on the condition of your property and any upgrades, extensions, and improvements that you may have made since it was last on the market. A desktop or virtual valuation must always therefore be looked upon as a guide figure and a true property valuation may adjust this value either up or down.
How to Prepare for a Valuation
There is very little you need to do to prepare for a valuation. But it does help if the property is well presented, clean and tidy and as free of clutter as possible. If the house is messy and scruffy, the agent may assume that is how you might present it through the sales process which can then impact their ability to secure the best price for your home.
You should also make sure you are ready with information like details of improvements made while you’ve owned the home and any damage or other factors that may impact the value. It’s important to be upfront and honest about this information at this stage so that upon appointment agents can communicate clearly with prospective buyers about the actual state of the property. This helps avoid delays and even withdrawals after surveys and searches reveal what you’ve attempted to keep hidden.
How do the agents calculate the value?
Each agent visits local properties day in and day out, they see what features people are willing to pay more for, what areas are popular, and they know what people on their database look for in a property. When visiting the property the agent will consider factors like its location, condition, and its size as well as any features such as gardens, driveways, etc. They use their experience to establish a likely and fair asking price for the property if you were to sell in the immediate future. The process is different for new build properties.
How long does a valuation take?
Typically, a valuation will be completed in under an hour for most properties. This gives the agent a chance to walk around the property and to talk to you about features, problems and improvements that have been made to the home.
How do I choose the right agent?
You should choose the agent that you feel will do the best job at selling your home, offers value for money and is reputable and honest. Don’t just go for the agent who has provided the highest valuation, as they may overvalue the property in the hope of securing your business.
Talk to the agent and if you are comfortable with the valuation of the property then ask questions to understand what service they can offer, what is included and whether they can offer you any actionable advice to help you achieve the best price possible.
What is the difference between the valuation and the listing price?
When an agent visits the property, they will provide you with a valuation which is typically the realistic value for which the property would sell should you decide to put it on the market right now. In some cases, depending on the market, agents may recommend that you list it for a higher price than the valuation price to allow discounting and negotiation or if the market is particularly buoyant and there is limited supply. The valuation should therefore be the price you are likely to achieve after negotiation and assuming nothing significant changes in the market.
Are you Ready to Sell? Book a Valuation
If you have a property to sell in South London, Gordon & Co can help. Get a free instant online valuation right now and book a follow up valuation with our team of property experts.
Disclaimer: This blog post is produced for general guidance only, and professional advice should be sought before any decision is made. Nothing in this post should be construed as the giving of advice. Individual circumstances can vary and therefore no responsibility can be accepted by the contributors or the publisher, Gordon & Co, for any action taken, or any decision made to refrain from action, by any readers of this post.