How to value your home

Own your valuation, minimise marketing time and maximise price

photo of a house and front garden
If you are thinking of selling, the very first thing you need to know is what your home is worth. You'll be wise to get three valuations from local estate agents and with a little research of your own, you could stay one step ahead of them all. We'll show you how to begin marketing at the right price, prevent you from underselling your home for too little and save your home hanging on the market looking 'stale.'

Should I go for the highest valuation?
Check the figures. It's easy to find out what similar properties sold for nearby. Compare your home to ones recently sold nearby. Nethouseprices.co.uk, Rightmove and Zoopla all list sold prices directly from Land Registry data. (If you know next door recently sold you might not see it appear yet. It takes a few weeks after a sale for the information to become public).

If you have a three-bedroom Victorian terrace then compare it to other Victorian terraces nearby. Same with your 1950s chalet bungalow or your six-bed Georgian villa.

While it's tempting to sign up with the agent who gives you the highest valuation, consider what kind of contract they offer. The oldest trick in the book is to exaggerate your valuation and tie you in to a long contract for up to three or four months. Once you're contracted to that estate agency, you are unable to leave them until the sign-in period is up. It's not uncommon for your agent to spend six out of the twelve contracted weeks talking to you about reducing your price. This isn't very helpful and is more about them gaining business than it is about selling your home.

When you invite estate agents to value your home, ask them what the current market is like. If they tell you they can sell yours quickly, ask them what they've sold recently and how long the sale took. A good agent can back up what they say with data.

The three most important questions you can must ask each valuer are:
1) What similar properties have sold nearby, can you show me data?
2) How long am I contracted to you and what notice period do you offer?
3) What's the market really like?

If you're still confused about what to market your home at, we have a strategy that tests the market and ensures you sell for the best price, quickly. You can email me here or call 0202 8299 3021 and I'll talk you through it.

Square footage indicators
Another great way to compare pricing is to work out the average square footage in your area. For this you'll need a clear idea of your home's total square footage to do the magic sum.

Go to Rightmove or Zoopla, click on 'house prices' from the top menu and select 'sold house prices' from the drop-down list. Search your immediate area for sales prices (add a small radius if not many show up). Many listings will show a recent set of property details which will include floor plans. Divide the sold price by the floor plan's entire square footage and you will get your price per square foot.

This means a house that's 2,600 square feet and sold for £2,200,000 cost £846 a square foot to buy.

Decorative state comes in to play so the best presented homes will be at the higher end of the scale, while larger homes generally command less per square foot than small flats. Research homes like yours, built around the same time and in similar condition. Very quickly you can get an idea of the average price per square foot in your area and of your home's worth.

What else is on the market?
It's easy to check the asking prices of other homes in your area by scouring property portals like Rightmove. If you take note of the 'added on' date in the listing, you can work out which homes might be hanging around for too long. This either indicates being badly marketed (dark photos, not enough photos or a dull description) or being listed at too high a price.

Our online valuation tool is an easy-to-use starting point.

So now you have a good idea of what your home is worth, see what each valuer says and compare your findings. The key is to employ the agent who will give you the best all-round service and maximise your home's value in any given market.