WHAT'S THE TRUE VALUE OF YOUR HOME?
It's likely that your home is your most valuable asset. So it's not unreasonable for you to want to know it's value at any given time, even though you may not be ready to move yet. There are (at least) 3 popular methods of determining the value. Beware though, all 3 have their pitfalls.....
1. Check the portals: Searching the main property websites (Zoopla, On The Market, Rightmove etc) for properties for sale similar to yours is an easy way of seeing what your local market has to offer at any given time. However....be mindful that a significant number of properties end up being reduced in price at least once before they eventually sell. This is usually because they have been over-valued to begin with (see point 3). What a property is listed for and what it sells for (i.e it's true value) are two very different things!
2. On-line instant valuation: Simply type your address into a search engine and at least one of these options will pop up. It can be a useful guide, however, they are a blunt tool. Essentially, it seems this method simply takes the last sale price and adds the % inflation for property in your area between then and now. I confess to not knowing if it's any more sophisticated than that - but I've used on-line valuations often and some of the results have been way off the mark. They don't take into account home improvements, extentions etc.
3. Ask an agent!: Ah, you'd think we'd be all for this option! And we are. A good agent will be uniquely tuned into the local housing market like nobody else. They'll know how many buyers they have looking for properties similar to yours, know what streets are the 'hot-spots', be able to advise what, if anything, you can do to get your home 'market -ready'. However....one of the curses of our industry is the agents who 'over-value'. Basically, over-inflating a property in order to win an instruction, knowing full well they will have to ask you to reduce the price after a period of time to a more realistic figure.
But how do you know whether the agent you've approached is giving you an honest appraisal, or inflating the price to get you to sign up with them?
We'll cover this subject in another post next week, but in the meanwhile, feel free to contact us to find out why Lloyds of Watford would never use this method when asked to value your home.