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How Much Is My House Worth?

Written by Reviewed by Graham Norwood

17th Sep 2020 (Last updated on 29th Oct 2020) 12 minute read

Calculating how much your house is worth is one of the most challenging aspects of selling your home. Ultimately, every homeowner will want to sell their home for the current market value - and more than what they paid for it. However, as a general rule, sellers can expect between 95% and 99% of their asking price.

Consulting with an estate agent or independent valuer is recommended to get an accurate valuation on your property. This will also help you settle on an asking price. Your own research will also be useful, reviewing nearby similar properties which are for sale or have sold recently.  

Compare My Move works with the best property experts to provide you the most relevant and up-to-date information when it comes to understanding your home’s value. We have created this guide to ensure that you’re prepared to take the first steps towards selling your home.

This article will cover the following:
  1. The Effect of Covid-19 on House Prices
  2. Starting Point: Do Your Own Research
  3. How Reliable Are Online Estimates and Calculators?
  4. Should I Get a Professional Opinion?
  5. What is Your House Worth Today?
  6. What Happens If Your House Value is Less Than You Expected
  7. Creating a Selling Strategy
  8. Consider the Cost of Selling a House
  9. Save on Your Property Sale with Compare My Move

The Effect of Covid-19 on House Prices

As a result of the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent UK lockdown in early 2020, the housing market took an unexpected hit. Sales, purchases and moves were put on hold during the nation-wide lockdown and house prices fluctuated. This added to the existing concerns for the property market as a result of ongoing Brexit negotiations.

It’s likely that house prices will be in constant flux over the next few months. The Land Registry released data in September 2020 which gave an insight into the impact of the pandemic on the property market. As the house buying process can take a few weeks or months, with many of these starting prior to lockdown, the true impact of COVID-19 on the housing market has not yet been measured. Nevertheless, the data revealed that house prices had increased over the year, by 2.7% in April 2020, rising to 2.9% in May 2020. 

Compare My Move also saw an increase in interest in removals, surveying and conveyancing services post-national lockdown. Despite concerns for property value and sales as a result of the pandemic, inquiries for property surveys - part of the buying process - doubled after the nation-wide lockdown was lifted. 

Overall, those looking to value and later sell their house should be vigilant and keep an eye on their local market and property news for any changes or developments over the coming months. 

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Starting Point: Do Your Own Research

Before you do anything else, there are a few basic steps you can take to help you find out how much your home is worth. Conducting your own research can give you a great starting point to valuing and setting a sale price for your property. 

Explore the Local Area

Start by researching local house prices, reviewing how much similar properties have sold in your area. The more specific you can be with the type and age of the property, the location and timing of the sale, the more accurate the estimate it is likely to be. 

House prices fluctuate often, so the more recent the sale has been, the more accurate the estimate will be. Make sure you have a range of examples to ensure you get a good idea of what the average value is. 

Asking Price vs Selling Price

When doing this research, be sure to note the Asking Price vs Selling Price. By this, we mean looking at what they were listed for, compared to the price they actually sold for. Compare these prices and review how many price cuts it took to get a sale. Were they overpriced to begin with? 

Ask the Neighbours

If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, why not ask about house prices in the area and see if they have any advice or rough estimates that you can use as a basis for pricing your own home. 

How Reliable Are Online Estimates and Calculators?

Sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove can provide an estimated guide price based on analysis of property data in the UK. These sites have great tools for researching house prices and will allow you to look back on how much your house sold for in the past. Have a look at what similar properties in your area have sold for in the last 12 months to give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay.

However, many online estate agents and most property portals will not be local to your area and will rely on house sale figures from sources such as the Land Registry. This will not always give an accurate reflection of house prices in the area. 

L&C state on their website regarding their own house price calculator that the figures provided are an indication based on last known sale and house price inflation number, noting; “They are not a substitute for a professional valuation and should not be used as a basis on which to sell or buy a property."

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Should I Get a Professional Opinion?

Seeking the expertise of a professional valuer or property surveyor is recommended if you want to obtain the most accurate valuation on your home. Remember that you will have to pay a fee for this service which will add to the overall cost of selling your property. 

A home valuation from an expert can act as a guideline for pricing your property. Local information such as local schools, public transport, noise and crime levels will all come into play when setting a price for your property. Experts often have access to data and information that could be essential to determining the value of homes in your area. 

Estate agents local to the area will have a better knowledge of house values and what properties have sold for recently. However, be aware that they may suggest an unrealistic price to entice you to use their services. 

With this in mind, it is worth looking around and getting several opinions. A study by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy found that 75% of sellers obtained a valuation from more than one estate agent.

What is Your House Worth Today?

We’ve already discussed the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit on the property market. But during a “regular” year, there are property market shifts and trends which happen regardless of the political landscape. 

The housing market is never static and house prices have been rising year-on-year, with many homes skyrocketing in value from their worth just a decade ago. This however cannot be counted on for every home, with location, size, age and condition remaining key factors in valuing a property. 

What is worth remembering is that ultimately, a property is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. 

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What Happens If Your House Value is Less Than You Expected

Following your research, valuations and discussions with estate agents, you may find that your house is valued lower than you expect. Many house prices will increase in value over time, but others won’t and some may even decrease in value. 

Although this can be disappointing, there are a number of ways you can increase the value of your home. You may have already undertaken renovations so make sure you factor this is in when pricing your property.

Having work done to your home can have the potential to add substantial value to your home, allowing you to set the price of the property higher. 

  • Repairing any major structural issues
  • A new or updated kitchen
  • Updating or replacing the bathroom
  • Obtaining planning permission for extensions or other work
  • Making improvements to the garden 
  • Giving “kerb appeal” to the front of the house

Consult with your agent before undertaking expensive and lengthy work, such as an extension. It is possible to ‘over develop’ a property - for example, by giving it a large number of bedrooms while it has only a small garden. A good agent will advise on what renovations will produce the best returns when you sell.

You should also think carefully about any work that may require a party wall agreement as this can increase the cost of the renovations. If you sell your home for less than your asking price, you may end up losing money due to these added fees.

Creating a Selling Strategy

As part of the process of pricing your home, you will need to work with your chosen estate agent to devise a selling strategy. This should include factors such as how quickly you want to sell your home, your ideal selling price, your lowest selling price, if there is any added value to the home and if you can afford to wait for a higher offer. 

  • Think about how much you may need for a deposit and other expenses if you're selling before buying a new home.
  • Try to emotionally detach yourself. It can be easy to get caught up in fond memories, the money spent on the home and how much you envisioned selling it for. 
  • Finally, try to create a back-up plan for if your house doesn't sell. Do not panic if it takes a while to get an offer, nothing happens instantly. But it's still good to be prepared so you have a first step to take if the worst should happen.

Preparing for Negotiations from Buyers 

Make sure you price your home with negotiations in mind. What is the lowest you will accept and what is the price you’d like to realistically sell your home for? Almost all buyers will presume there is room for negotiation of the listed price so be aware that a potential buyer may submit a considerably lower offer. Zoopla found that the average home sells for 3.9% less than the asking price. 

Buyers may also offer lower again after their initial offer is accepted. Nearly one in five (18%) of buyers reduce their offer, usually as a result of an issue flagged in the property survey report or a lower than expected mortgage lender’s valuation.

Negotiating is par for the course when selling your home, but there are some ways you can prepare to ensure you get the right price for your property. 

  • Take advice from your estate agent whether the market conditions allow you to set a higher asking price in the expectation that offers will be lower.
  • Remember that offers are not legally binding until contracts are exchanged and you do not have to accept any of them.
  • Naturally, nobody wants to lose money on their initial investment, but there is also the risk of the property not selling if it is priced too high.
  • Be aware that the longer your house is on the market, the less likely you are to get the best price for it. It may also cause prospective buyers to question whether there is something wrong with the house.
  • Note that if you are selling with an estate agent you will not be negotiating directly with the buyer. This will be done via the estate agent who will negotiate on your behalf.

Are You Keen to Sell The House Quickly?

Careful planning is required and if you want to sell your home quickly, you may need to consider accepting a slightly lower offer. 

Regardless of the value of your home, a property is likely to sell far quicker if the price entices keen buyers. Selling to first-time buyers will also speed up the process, as there will be no property chain on their side and are often ready to move in quickly.  

Whether you’ve found your dream home and want to move quickly, or you want a quick sale without dragging out the length of time your property is on the market, you may have to compromise on the price you accept.

Can You Afford to Take Things Slowly?

If you are on the other end of the spectrum, and are yet to find your next dwelling or are determined to get a higher price for your home, you may find your property is on the market for longer.

If you are able to take your time, this comes at an advantage as you can wait for a buyer who is willing to pay as close to the asking price - and ultimately the current value of the home. However, it is worth noting that if a property is on the market for a significant amount of time, this can cause concerns for buyers. If a property hasn’t sold in good time, it could be that it is overpriced. However, when a property has been on the market for a considerable length of time, buyers may also assume there is something wrong with the house and avoid it completely. 

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Consider the Cost of Selling a House

When pricing your home for sale, you must also consider the various costs involved in selling a house, which we have listed below. If you are selling your home in order to buy another, you may also want to factor in the cost of buying a house.

1. Estate agent fees

High-street estate agents generally charge between 1% to 2.5% of the final property on average. Their role is to primarily market your property to potential buyers and provide guided viewings of the property. 

They will also mediate between you the buyers during negotiations to ensure you get the right price for your home.

2. Conveyancing 

The average conveyancing fee for selling a home is around £1,000. These are the legal fees associated with selling your home. (This figure is based on the average UK home prices £232,797 and includes VAT at 20%). 

Compare My Move can save you time and effort finding a conveyancer, connecting you with us to 5 licensed conveyancers or conveyancing solicitors in your area.  

3. EPC

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) cost between £60 and £120 depending on your local assessor's price. The EPC will reveal the energy efficiency rating for your property and whether it can be improved, based on the type of property and the local area. Every house on the property market must be on the EPC register. 

Without a doubt, selling your home will be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. However, if you follow the tips in this guide, the process will feel more organised and straightforward, preparing you for selling your property.

Save on Your Property Sale with Compare My Move

Compare My Move will help you at every stage of your house sale or purchase. From comparing conveyancers, hiring a chartered surveyor and helping you find a removal company, we’ll be there for you. Compare your move with us and save up to 70% on the costs along the way.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.

Graham Norwood

Reviewed by Graham Norwood

Property Journalist and Editor,

With over 15 years of experience in residential property journalism, Graham is currently the editor for both Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today.