Accurately valuing a property can be hard. First, you need to take in to account how the local market is performing, and know which streets and neighbourhoods command the highest premiums.
Then you need to take in to account the quality of a home, what other similar properties have sold for… the list goes on. Because of this complexity, most people will rely on an estate agent to provide the most accurate valuation. But how do estate agents do it? In this article we’ll tell you how!
One major factor that affects the value of a property is the sheer size of it. All three-bed houses, for example, are not built the same so the dimensions of the whole property need to be looked at along with the size and space of the reception rooms.
Next comes added extras such as en-suite bathrooms or downstairs cloakrooms which modern buyers like to see. An extended kitchen that has a seating area is preferred, as is lots of storage in the hallway.
Image By Judith Wakelam
Any outside area that comes with the property must be taken into consideration. Most people expect to pay more for somewhere with off-street parking, especially with flats or smaller houses as these are harder to come by.
A garage is an expensive add-on, even though most people will never park their car inside. A balcony, patio or garden will make a place more sought after, but sometimes a huge piece of land will put people off unless it’s out in the countryside.
What most busy people want is somewhere to entertain or eat alfresco in the summer months, but that doesn’t take up much time to maintain.
Estate agents will then look at facilities and amenities in the local area. For example, nothing pushes the price of a family house up more than being in a catchment area of a good school. And a catchment area can be quite specific; being just one street away could make all the difference. If you’re looking for accurate catchment area maps, be sure to check out The Schools Guide.
Next would be transport links, as most people will see it as desirable to be walking distance from a train or underground station. Having shops nearby is also on the must-have list, and the brand of shop can have a greater influence. The well-documented ‘Waitrose Effect‘ shows that having a higher-priced supermarket on the doorstep means the neighbours are more affluent. This equates to a greater asking prices for properties.
Natural spaces in the location tend to push house prices up. People like to have large green spaces nearby, or lakes and rivers to walk beside. Even in the cities, if there is a large, well-maintained park in an area, the homes surrounding it will have added value. Homes with a sea view are more sought after on the coast, as are country properties looking over hills, fields or valleys.
Plenty of employment opportunities in an area make it sought after. Cities are always more expensive to live in because this is where the jobs are. Cutting down on the daily commute is a dream of many hard-working people, so a place that is close to work will have a higher value.
On the flip side, the value will be reduced if you are so close to the amenities that they cause issues. For example, overlooking the railway line will reduce the value of a place, as will being so close to the school that the traffic makes leaving your home at 3.00 pm impossible. Having a location next to the pub will mean noise late at night, and being on top of a supermarket could mean early-morning deliveries.
The finishing touches
Estate agents will also be looking at the details and finishes within a property when valuing it. High spec bathrooms, kitchens with the best worktops, and top quality floor coverings will increase the desirability of a place. Mod cons such as dishwashers, power showers and underfloor heating will increase the value. A garden which has been landscaped will attract buyers too.
There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration when valuing a property. An estate agent should be keeping up with the latest trends in fixtures and fittings, and also they should understand what is wanted of a neighbourhood. With local knowledge, and an eye on the figures homes have achieved recently, they are best placed to guide sellers on a price. They are also in a position to offer an impartial opinion. Sellers tend to think that their property is the best on offer, and rightly so, but taking guidance from the professionals is advisable.