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Property valuation


Valuing property is not an exact science and there are different types of property valuation which can be taken into account when you want to find out the value of your house.

Value your home


"Valuation isn't a science or a fine art. Most agents simply make appraisals of a property and produce a figure that they think sits well in the local market," says Peter Bolton-King of the National Association of Estate Agents. 


To value your own home there are a number of things that you can do to assess a realistic asking price. Look at local prices of property similar to your own. Check selling prices at the land registry. Look at new build taking into account builders' offers to pay solicitors'' fees or stamp duty. These new properties will compete with your own for buyers. 


Estate Agents usually offer free valuations so try to get three for comparison. 




Free online property valuation


You can use to register your property, update the details such as large front garden, numbers of bedrooms and so on to allow the assimilated information to carefully predict the value of your home when taking into account local price trends and previous selling prices. You can check local house selling prices at the land registry, at zoopla and at


Hometrack's Property Report, will help in establishing the right price for your property.


 Remember that between an offer being accepted and exchange of contracts, you should be able to re-negotiate the price and conditions of sale without penalty.


Mortgage valuations

By law, all building societies are required to carry out a valuation on a property before making a mortgage offer. Although this does not apply to banks, most will insist on a valuation being carried out anyway.


A property valuation is simply a property inspection carried out with the sole purpose of determining the value of the property so that the lender can assess how much it may lend.  A valuation is not a survey. The valuation is usually paid for by the buyer who receives a copy of the report.  A valuation is a very limited inspection compared to a survey. It may identify areas that require more detailed inspection by a specialist.


Surveyors valuation

"Surveyors for banks and building societies are extremely cautious - too much so. They've consistently undervalued properties to protect the lenders. That situation is improving but it's still a factor, especially with new homes," Bolton-King says.  He advises sellers to quiz agents on the number and type of comparable properties they have sold and how quickly they went. 




RICS guide to property valuation


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which regularly updates its "Red Book" guide to valuation, also says comparable property sales are a good - but not exact - guide to a home's worth.  Buying agents, who earn their keep bartering down sale prices for purchasers, have yet another approach based on looking beneath the surface of the sale and sellers. "Factors that help are how long a property's been on the market, past price reductions, and offers that were made and turned down, or accepted but then failed to proceed," says James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search.  "Value is also affected by individuals. How badly does a vendor want to sell? Is it divorce, probate or desperation? How badly does a buyer want it? How long have they been looking? Our only assumption is that the asking price is in the right region - but with flexibility," he says.  


Online paid property valuation 

There are a number of websites which offer an online valuation. One of the most respected is hometrack which is also used in different formats by property professionals. Calnea Analytics calculate and prepare the official Land Registry House Price Index and provide generic property valuations for Estate Agents, Surveyors and mortgage lenders. 




Calnea Analytics property valuation  

Calnea Analytics provide property valuations to home sellers and home buyers through their consumer brand Free online property valuation can be calculated at other websites such as, but do not access as as much data as Calnea and Hometrack to produce their assessed valuation. Zoopla ask property owners to update details of their home, including alterations, extensions and room sizes and appear to be building a sizeable database of housing stock information.


 The Land Registry detail the House Price Index on their website and have recently launched a new online service for searches of property price data.

Free property valuation

If you are selling property then you will probably have your own home valued by 3 Estate Agents (which are usually free) to gain different opinions. All Estate Agents use comparables to assess the value of a house - that is the latest selling prices of similar property in the same area is important as property values are changing constantly. However, as a buyer you will get a second opinion on the price you should pay (and more importantly the price your lender will lend against) from a Surveyor - these surveyor valuations are likely to be more conservative because the lender wants to ensure that the loan is secure in the value of the property. This is why in difficult times when property prices fall the owner may be disappointed to find that their property price is valued lower by a mortgage lender's Surveyor. For more details see Estate Agent valuation in the Selling property section.  More information on a home survey for valuing property





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