When you watch Homes Under the Hammer or Escape to the Country, or even if you’re browsing your local listings, agents are often called in to value the property. In some cases, the amounts are positively eye-watering, yet sometimes, they can be quite modest. I recently wrote about how to find a new property online, so if you’re looking to also sell and move, read on to see how you value your own property.
The cliché “location, location, location” applies here. It’s a cliché because it is overused, but unfortunately, it’s true. Location is everything, which is why a modest two-bed terraced house with a garden in Devon would fetch maybe a fifth of what it would fetch in London. Even property that is separated only by a road can fetch substantially different prices depending on the perceived desirability of that road.
So, you need to see what other properties are selling for in your area. Look for two-bed houses – as an example – that are similar in size and have a similar-sized garden. Make sure that you compare terraces with terraces, semis with semis and detached with detached. Rightmove is a good source for comparing local values.
Then, increase the cost by 10% if it is in very good condition or decrease it by 10% if it is in poor condition. If it’s a repo, slash the cost by between 25% and 35%, depending on how poorly the property has been treated and how empty it is. Often, repossessed properties have been abandoned for months if not years, so they may have a lot more quirks than the average property.
The next step is to add in bonuses for extra features. If the properties you are comparing do not have parking spaces but yours does, add between 3% and 5% (up to 10% in London!). A very large garden might add an extra 3%, and an extra bedroom typically adds between 9% and 12%, up to a maximum of five bedrooms.
An extra-large kitchen might add 2%, and a wood-burning stove would also add another few thousand onto the price, although an open fire might decrease the value of the property as it is seen as more hazardous.
The condition of the windows can alter the value of the property by up to 5%. Brand-new double-glazed windows are typically the best, with triple glazing adding virtually no extra value, whereas single-glazed windows or double glazing that is old and is leaking will decrease desirability substantially. Similarly, a conservatory can also have a dramatic effect on your property’s value. A uPVC conservatory that was installed 20 years ago will likely decrease the value of the property by 3%, whereas a conservatory that is sympathetic to the house and adds good flow can increase the value by 2% to 5%.
However, each house has its own unique set of characteristics that affect its value, and it can be hard to use a formula to determine the value of it. While you can value it yourself, you’ll get a much more accurate figure by having an estate agent value it for you.