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How does an estate agent value a property?
Help for first time sellers
06 January 2020

How does an estate agent value a property?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher

What do estate agents do when they value your house?

An estate agent’s valuation begins even before they set foot in your house. This is because a home’s value is determined as much by what’s going on in the local property market as by its unique characteristics. It would be almost impossible to sell a 3-bedroom flat for £700,000 in an area where all the other 3-bedroom flats are on sale for around £300,000. This is the case even if 3-bedroom flats in the area have previously sold for £700,000. It won’t look good value for money.

This initial stage involves looking at the properties in the local area. They will assess what has recently sold, what is currently on sale, and which properties are struggling to sell. From this they’ll be able to gauge what sort of properties and prices are creating interest amongst buyers.

Once the estate agent has an understanding of the local market they will look in detail at your property specifically. They’ll look at your home’s: size, number of bedrooms, outdoor space, and location (in relation to things like good local schools or transport links). They will then take into account any special features unique to your home. Do you have beautiful parquet flooring, or a fireplace? Is your kitchen fitted out with high spec appliances? All these things will be taken into consideration as the estate agent figures out where to position your property price-wise in relation to other homes on the market.

An estate agent is also likely to talk to you about your selling aims and expectations. They will want to know whether you’re looking to sell quickly, or whether you’re hoping to hold out for the highest possible price. If you have a specific figure in mind, they will likely also bear this in mind when presenting their valuation.

How to get the most out of an estate agent valuation

To get the most out of an estate agent valuation, and ensure you’re getting a realistic estimate, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What other houses like mine are currently on the market?
  • How much interest are properties like mine currently getting?
  • Where do we need to position my home to make it stand out in the local market?

Just as important as the estate agent’s response to these questions is the evidence they use to back up their answers. If your agent is able to provide justifications for their estimate you can be assured their valuation is likely to be more accurate. This could be examples of similar recently sold properties, or extensive experience of selling homes like yours.

It’s recommended that you meet with more than 1 estate agent to get an accurate idea of how much your home is worth. We think that having 3 valuations puts you in a great position to understand the current worth of your home.

Not only will you be able to compare each estate agent’s value estimates, you will also be able to compare their methods. This is an opportunity to find out about their marketing ideas, their selling style, and how often they’ll be in touch with you. Your chosen estate agent will handle one of your most valuable financial assets. Taking the time to find the one best suited to you is a worthwhile investment.

For more advice on preparing your home for sale and picking the best estate agents, check out our handy guide.

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