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How do I value my house

Whether you’re thinking of moving, remortgaging or buying home insurance, find out how to value your home.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 6 December 2021  | 5 mins read

Do you know how much your house is worth?

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.

You can also use the UK House Price Index and the HM Land Registry website to help track property price trends in your area.

Key points

  • A property valuation takes into consideration market trends as well as location, condition and other factors
  • It’s important to know your home’s value if you’re thinking of selling it or buying home insurance
  • You can use online tools as well as valuations from estate agents
  • Chartered surveyors provide accurate and objective assessments of property condition and value

Can I value my home online?

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.

How else can I get my house valued?

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:

Mortgage or remortgage valuation

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.

HomeBuyer valuation

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.

Help to Buy and Shared ownership valuations

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.

Rebuild cost valuation

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.

How is a home valuation different from a survey?

Estate agents, lenders and surveyors all assess homes differently and have different purposes for their assessment:

Estate agent valuation

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.

Mortgage lender valuation

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.

Home survey

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.

Why are rebuild costs different to the house value?

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.

Are the rules the same across the UK nations?

In England and Wales the rules for buying a property are the same, but Scotland has a different process.

If you want to sell your home in Scotland you’re required by law to produce a Home Report for potential buyers.

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.

How are instant valuations calculated?

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.

What do estate agents look for when valuing your house?

When you ask an estate agent to value your house, they’ll typically take into consideration several different factors, for example:

  1. Market conditions

    They’ll use market reports and their knowledge of local sales patterns and current demand

  2. Location and kerb appeal

    They’ll assess your home’s situation and location, as well as the condition of the property’s exterior

  3. Outside space

    Any parking and garages you have will be noted, along with the size and condition of your outside space and garden

  4. Aesthetics and internal elements

    The home’s layout and number of rooms, and the style and quality of decoration will all be taken into account

  5. Key rooms

    The condition and size of bathrooms and kitchens are typically more important in a valuation than other rooms in the property

  6. Unique features and development opportunities

    The valuation will also reflect any special features your home has along with the potential for development

How much does a house valuation cost?

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.

What will my home be worth in five years?

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.

How to improve my home’s value?

  1. Redecorate - freshen up tired walls, carpets and curtains to make your home look its best - not only will it be nicer to spend time in, it’ll also make it more appealing to buyers
  2. Makeover the kitchen - it’s an important area of the home for buyers, so revamping the kitchen, or just replacing tired unit doors and a new lick of paint can help boost value
  3. Refresh your bathroom - an updated bathroom that’s clean and glistening can make your home more attractive and increase its worth
  4. Convert your loft - this can potentially create an extra bedroom and an en-suite bathroom and could add up to 20% of its value
  5. Extend your home - this will not only give you extra space but can make a real difference to the value of your home when you come to sell it
  6. Declutter - add more space to your home by creating cleaner spaces and getting rid of or storing excess furniture
  7. Tend your garden - having a garden can increase the value of your home, especially if you make it an attractive and enjoyable space to be in
  8. Increase kerb appeal - a freshly painted front door, potted trees and plants, and a front garden tidy up can give your home the right first impression

Use our property investment calculator to see how much your home improvements could increase its value

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