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Zoopla’s free online valuation tool: ‘How much is my home worth?’ is the first port of call for many sellers trying to figure out the best asking price for their home. However, Zoopla has come under fire for being misleading about how accurate their valuation tool actually is.

When Zoopla updated the tool in January 2020 many people noticed their house price estimate dramatically reduced. One user found their property had reduced in price by 49% overnight.

Below we explore how Zoopla’s ‘How much is my home worth?’ tool works, and how accurate it really is.

How does Zoopla estimate prices?

When figuring out what your house is worth, Zoopla’s updated estimate tool starts with the price your property was last sold for. It then multiplies this by the average increase or decrease in value other similar properties in your area have experienced since.

Zoopla’s estimates aren’t able to take into account any major changes that you’ve made to the property since you bought it - such as an extension. It’s also not able to consider any of the unique features of your property.

So, how reliable are Zoopla house values?

The reliability of Zoopla’s valuation tool varies massively. The estimate is much more likely to be accurate if other properties in your area are similar to your home in terms of size, age and condition. If you’re trying to value a more unusual property you’ll find the estimated value is less accurate. Areas where properties are sold regularly will also see more reliable estimates because Zoopla’s record of house prices will be more up to date.

We recommend that you avoid using Zoopla’s valuation tool to determine what your home is worth. It provides very generalised estimates and there are a number of conditions that the tool is completely unable to take into account. Zoopla themselves note that ‘It’s important to remember that the value given is just an estimate’.

Ultimately the true value of your home is what a buyer would be willing to pay for it at that moment. This is generally worked out by comparing your home with the other properties on the market: what they are charging and what additional features you offer. This sort of nuance is very difficult to achieve in a generalised online valuation.

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How can I get a more accurate valuation?

The best way to find out how much your house is worth is to talk to a local high street estate agent with a track record of accurate valuations.

They will be able to use their knowledge of the local market to position your property against those currently for sale, and those recently sold. The best local agents will know about the unique features of other properties on sale nearby, and what your home offers that differentiates it from these properties. This will help them to accurately estimate the value of your property.

Unsure which agents can give you the most reliable estimate? Our data-backed comparison tool can help you find the estate agents with the strongest track record for accurate valuations.