Surprisingly Useful:
Vendor Advice

How Much Is My House Worth and How Do Valuations Work?

August 11, 2021

Have you ever wondered, ‘How much is my house worth?’ Well, can you find out very easily through a property valuation. A property valuation is an appraisal of your home that is conducted by a property expert, in order to determine just how much it is worth given the current market conditions.

What is a property valuation?

Property valuations are equally important for both buyers and sellers. If you are preparing to sell your home or rental property, a professional valuation will give you a good idea of how to fairly and accurately price your home for the current market. If you are shopping around to buy a home, procuring a property valuation can help in several ways. Not only can they help to ensure that the asking price is fair, but they can also give you an indication of what the market rent would be and what rental yield you could expect to achieve from a buy-to-let purchase.

How much is my house worth?

For an instant and convenient indication of how much your home is worth, you can use our online Portico Valuation Calculator. This easy-to-use tool will give you a quick ballpark figure from which to base your next move upon. That said, if you are considering selling or letting your home, it is important to engage with an experienced estate agent and arrange for them to visit your property in person for a truly accurate figure.

You can also use our online Portico Rent Calculator to get a similar ballpark indication of what your property could achieve in rental returns.

Who conducts property valuations?

Typically, an estate agent would be the property expert assigned to carry out a valuation for the purposes of sales and lettings. These agents are property experts based in your local area, so they will have the knowledge and experience to best value your property accurately. They can also help you to better understand the realities of the current local market and who your prospective buyers or tenants could be.

You should expect the agent to spend around an hour assessing your home thoroughly, ensuring that they take every aspect of the property into consideration, as well as taking the time to fully understand what your goals and expectations are from the process.

As Portico Regional Director, Sophie Durkin, points out, valuations can become outdated quickly depending on the nature of the market, so it’s important not to base your decisions on an invalid valuation.

“Bear in mind that the market is constantly changing, so what your home is worth today could be very different to what it was valued at a year ago or more. Always ask your agent to carry out an up-to-date valuation if it has been a while since the last appraisal,” says Durkin.

When you purchase a property and apply for a mortgage, your lender of choice will appoint a surveyor to conduct a mortgage valuation of the property, to ensure that it is worth what you are planning on paying for it. Of course, if you go through Portico Finance to secure a great mortgage, we can handle the entire process for you.

Related: Can I Move House And Keep The Same Mortgage?

How is a property valuation carried out?

Before beginning the process of valuing a property for a client, Portico Area Director, Ed Lugg, always suggests that valuers start by seeking to fully understand the motivations of the client requesting the valuation.

“The guidance I have always given valuers is to start with ‘why?’ Moving, or successfully letting a property out is a significant upheaval; it takes commitment and hard work to navigate many moving parts. Our Sales and Lettings Managers need to know exactly why a prospective Vendor or Landlord has sought support from an agent.”

So, before an agent arrives to value your property, consider your responses to the following questions:

  • Are you relocating?
  • Do you need to upsize or downsize?
  • Are you wanting to create an income or release equity from an investment?
  • How quickly do you need to move?
  • Are you looking to take advantage of an increase in house prices?

The more your agent can understand your circumstances and motivations, the more equipt they are to help you in achieving your goals.

The step-by-step property valuation process

1. Initial consultation, during which the agent will seek to discover your motivations.

2. Market study conducted by agent for suitable comparisons, to encompass:

  • Properties similar in size/condition that have recently been let or sold within a similar area
  • Similar properties currently listed on the market by their own business or other agents

3. Review of suitable applicants conducted by agent to establish which registered potential buyers may find your property suitable, should they win your instruction to market the property.

4. Ideally, the agent will be guided around the property by you, the owners, to allow you to highlight any particular selling points, and to better understand the history of the property. The agent will make notes of any features that will help to sell the property, as well as noting down any home improvement suggestions for both that could also assist in a successful sale.

5. If an agent is experienced enough and feels that they have sufficient information, including their market research, they may provide you with an on-the-spot valuation. That said, it is usually still delivered as an approximate conclusion, with the figure to be formally confirmed once the agent can return to the office and consolidate their findings.

6. As the agent finalises the valuation, they take into account the most recently sold/let properties of comparable size, condition and location, as well as the current market conditions, seasonality, and the current supply/demand market dynamics.

7. The formal valuation figure should then represent a fairly accurate and achievable figure, typically falling within 5-10% either way, depending upon factors such as your motivations, the speed of the sale or let required, how long it has been vacant or on the market, etc.

Related: Green Homes Grant: How Can Homeowners And Landlords Benefit

How can I increase the value of my property?

It isn’t always necessary to give a property a complete overhaul in order to achieve some significant value boosters. Your agent is best-placed to provide advice on what improvements could make the most difference to the value of your home - and which improvements would be a waste of money to attempt to carry out!

The agent will let you know what types of buyers or tenants your property would suit and what those potential candidates are looking for, thus drilling down on what improvements would provide the best return on investment (ROI).

From smaller jobs (such as redecorating and fixing small issues), all the way through to fitting new kitchens and bathrooms, the agent will advise you expertly as to what level of work it makes sense to take on. Plus, if you need any assistance with any improvements, our Portico Tradespeople can help!

Get an instant property valuation in 60 seconds

Get a clear vision of your goals and motivations and work through them thoroughly with your valuation agent. Ensure that you don’t make any big decisions off the back of an out-dated valuation figure, and make the most of your agent’s expertise when it comes to deciding which improvements will convert into extra pounds for your pocket.

If you are thinking of buying, selling or letting a property, get in touch with us here at Portico and see how we can help you! Call us on 020 7099 4000, or get an instant property valuation here.

We already know how much your rental property is worth. Type your postcode to find out and get an online valuation within 60 seconds.

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