As with the value of most other assets, the value of your home fluctuates over time. A number of factors play into it, such as construction year, wear and tear, renovations, neighbours, location, and many others, leading all the way up to the general state of the British economy. Luckily, in the face of all that complexity, there are several ways to ascertain the true value of your home. You can place your trust in one online valuation tool or the other; you can do some footwork and research yourself; or you can arrange a face to face valuation with an experienced real estate agent whom you trust. In this post, we will review all of these choices.
Let the Online Valuation Tool Take Care of It
The most immediate way to get a concrete home valuation is to pick an online valuation tool you trust and input your home’s specifications. The online home valuation industry has been booming, so the choice is ample. Make sure you pick a web valuation service that is popular and highly rated, for example those provided by Zoopla and Yopa. This may not necessarily be the top tool for the UK overall – some home valuation platforms are strictly local and command detailed knowledge of the real estate market of a specific area. Therefore, do not always fall for the industry leader at the risk of overlooking your neighbourhood’s expert!
What you should keep in mind when deciding which online valuation service to trust is the source of its data, the calculation algorithm (unless it is proprietary and, therefore, secret), the basis for any comparisons, and how rich the underlying data are. This all might sound complicated, but in reality most good home valuation applications work in similar ways. They aggregate data from the government, partner real estate agents and surveyors, as well as home owners. Then they run the data through their specially devised algorithms to arrive at a concrete price estimate for your home.
As with any other data analytics solution, the accuracy and reliability of such online home valuations greatly depend on the availability of real estate information about the area where your home is. Therefore, online valuation services work best in larger cities and bustling markets.
Do It Yourself Home Valuation: Being Your Own Estate Agent!
The alternative to online valuation services is to find out your home’s price the old-fashioned way: footwork, contacts, and a little bit of your own research. In the spirit of acting locally, start with your neighbours. Find out what they paid for their houses and file those number away, keeping in mind the market trends since each purchase. You can double-check the prices any new members share with you with online property listings in your area. There are plenty of websites that should paint a relatively clear picture of housing prices around you… we’re looking at you, Rightmove and Zoopla!
In general, when looking for comparable homes and their sale values, find a site that keeps a record of sold prices. This is the single most reliable kind of data you can incorporate in your own estimate. Finally, a word of caution: Go into the exercise of a DIY home valuation with an open mind and gather as much objective market information as you can in order to arrive at a realistic home valuation.
Let the Professionals Do It: Book a Face to Face Valuation with an Agent
The abundance of information on- and offline and the plethora of specialised home valuation websites notwithstanding, there is little competition for a trained and experienced local estate agent when it comes to putting the right price on your property. Agents are objective and thorough, and they have a vested interest in giving you the most honest and realistic valuation, especially if you are considering a sale that they can then handle for a commission.
No sophisticated algorithm or database can replace the keen eye and market sense of a tried and tested real estate professional. Armed with the most up-to-date knowledge of your local market and with all the empathy and professional drive, an agent is your safest bet for a realistic and true home valuation.
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