Whether you’re thinking of moving, remortgaging or buying home insurance, find out how to value your home.
The value of your home will change over time, but there are a number of ways to help you work out what it’s currently worth.
To start with, you can do your own research by taking a look at similar properties nearby that have sold recently.
Current property prices and recent sales in your area can indicate what yours might sell for - you can find this type of information using property portals like Zoopla.
A number of websites like the HomeOwners Alliance provide valuation tools for a quick and easy way to gauge what your home might be worth.
You’ll typically need to provide information like your home’s age, how many bedrooms, bathrooms and reception rooms it has, and whether it’s a detached, semi or terraced property.
The valuation is usually generated using algorithms and information from the Land Registry and property listings, but be aware that it might not take into account other factors - for example, if you’ve had any development or renovation done to the property.
For a more accurate assessment of your home’s value it’s best to book an in-person valuation with two or three estate agents in your area.
To provide a valuation, estate agents will usually combine desk research - including looking at sold properties and those on the market - with their local area knowledge and a visit to your home.
Other types of home valuation include:
This is when your lender carries out a valuation survey to check their loan will be a good investment. These won’t provide a full survey and may not take into account local factors like school catchment areas, but can give you a rough idea of what your property’s worth.
A HomeBuyer survey will usually include a valuation, which can help you to decide whether you’re paying a fair price. This is a more in depth process than a mortgage or estate agent’s valuation and can also help you find out if there are any structural problems, like subsidence.
If you’ve used one of these schemes to help you get onto the property ladder and you decide to sell, the party who owns the other share will organise a valuation to find out how much their share of the property is now worth.
To make sure you’ve got the right level of buildings insurance you’ll need to know how much it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch. To help do this you could use the ABI/BCIS Residential Rebuilding Costs calculator or hire a chartered surveyor to assess your home.
Estate agents, lenders and surveyors all assess homes differently and have different purposes for their assessment:
An estate agent’s valuation is designed to generate a sale. Placing a higher value on a property could get a better price for the seller and more commission for the agent. The valuation is more likely to focus on aesthetic and cosmetic elements of the house, as well as location and current market trends.
This is a cursory visual inspection done purely for the lender’s benefit to make sure the property’s worth the amount you’re intending to borrow for it. The valuation is done before your mortgage is approved and won’t point out or look at any structural issues or potential problems.
Performed by qualified surveyors, who are likely to be members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), its purpose is to provide an independent, detailed and objective health-check of the property’s condition. It will highlight potential problems and costs associated with repair.
This is because rebuild costs don’t take into account the value of factors like the property’s location, transport links, and school catchment areas.
Instead, the rebuild cost is essentially what you’d need to pay in terms of material and labour if you had to rebuild your property from scratch.
For this reason, it’s usually less than the value you’d expect your home to fetch if you were selling it.
If the rebuild cost is more than your home’s market value, it’s often because factors like having unique period features would make it very expensive to rebuild.
In England and Wales the rules for buying a property are the same, but Scotland has a different process.
This report must include a survey and property valuation by a surveyor registered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Scotland operates a sealed bid system, which means all interested buyers must place a blind offer of the valuation price or above by a set deadline. The successful buyer is the one with the highest bid.
In England and Wales, the only upfront information sellers have to supply is an energy performance certificate. The buyer chooses whether they get a survey (and formal valuation) done on the property.
When you use an online valuation tool, you enter the details of your property into a website that uses an algorithm to assess your information.
Matching your details against the data in its system, the online tool is able to instantly calculate what your home might be worth.
Often online tools use Land Registry data to help estimate valuations and use this to give you a price range and a ballpark figure.
However, these tools are unlikely to take into account unique features of your property, like a very large garden or any home improvements you’ve made. So these valuations should only be used as a guide before you use a professional valuer with local knowledge.
When you ask an estate agent to value your house, they’ll typically take into consideration several different factors, for example:
They’ll use market reports and their knowledge of local sales patterns and current demand
They’ll assess your home’s situation and location, as well as the condition of the property’s exterior
Any parking and garages you have will be noted, along with the size and condition of your outside space and garden
The home’s layout and number of rooms, and the style and quality of decoration will all be taken into account
The condition and size of bathrooms and kitchens are typically more important in a valuation than other rooms in the property
The valuation will also reflect any special features your home has along with the potential for development
This will partly depend on the reason you need a valuation and your situation. Online valuations and in-person valuations by estate agents are usually free of charge.
If you want a more accurate valuation or you need one for a specific purpose - for example, if your mortgage lender requires one - you may need to hire a chartered surveyor.
The cost for this will depend on your home’s location and the size and value of the property. A valuation by a RICS surveyor will typically cost between £150 to £1,500 but some lenders will offer this for free.
While this can’t be accurately predicted, UK estate agents Savills have been analysing market conditions and using these to forecast what may happen in the years ahead.
They anticipate that between 2022 to 2025, UK house prices will rise by between 11% and 12%. It’s worth bearing in mind that as well as the recent surge in demand for properties, interest rates will also affect price growth.
Although it’s impossible to put a precise figure on your home’s future value, you can help to increase your property’s worth by making some home improvements.
Use our property investment calculator to see how much your home improvements could increase its value