Very few people like to talk about money, especially when it comes to our homes. However, when you make a sizable commitment, you need to have your finances in place, and to feel confident about what you do next. This is why a house valuation is essential.
House valuations aren’t just for people selling their home
At Dwell, we are pleased to say we are house valuation specialists in Leeds. We have helped many people, households, and organisations review their property, and determine a valuation. If you are looking to buy or sell property, it is essential you know what the current market valuation is.
However, it is not just for those looking to sell where a valuation can come in use. If you plan on letting property, it is helpful to know the current market valuation. This ensures you can appropriately price your property in the rental market, enhancing your chances of connecting with suitable tenants.
For anyone making any move in the housing market, a house valuation is essential, and this guide provides you with everything you need to know.
How long does a house valuation take?
You should expect a house valuation to take between 15 minutes and an hour. You will find most estate agents allocate an hour for the estate agent valuation process. If the house is smaller than expected or can be evaluated in a shorter period of time, the remainder of the hour can be taken up by questions.
So many factors influence a property valuation, including the size of the home and the layout of the property, each valuation is unique. If some of these factors cause the valuation process to run on for longer than an hour, the estate agent will make allowances for this.
The most important thing is that the house is valued correctly, and if it takes longer to do so, so be it. In the long-term, you will appreciate receiving the best standard of house valuation on offer.
If you have arranged a house valuation, to help you choose the most appropriate agent to sell your home, it is best to arrange for two or three professionals to look at your home. With more than one opinion you can make an informed decision as to the merits of each agent, and how they view your home.
Will the estate agent take photographs when valuing a home?
Generally, an estate agent will not take photographs or record video content when valuing a property. Some agents might, to assist them in remembering the home or checking aspects of the valuation process, but it is not something which is done as standard.
When it comes to taking photographs to assist with listing the property, this is arranged and taken care of at a later date.
Is it worth receiving a desktop valuation for my home?
A desktop valuation, as the name suggests, doesn’t require an agent to visit your property. Instead, they look at information available online relating to your area and type of home, and provide you with an estimate of the market value.
As a starting point, this valuation is of interest, as it provides a rough guideline of what to expect. This helps you calculate whether you can afford to move, or what sort of move you wish to make.
However, when you decide it is time to move, you will need a more accurate assessment of your property than this. So, at some point, you do need to arrange a proper valuation for your home.
What do valuers look for when valuing a house in the UK?
While each valuer has their own methods and processes when valuing a house in the UK, there are some things which are prevalent across every valuation process.
The leading things checked during a home valuation include:
- An assessment on how the home compares with similar homes that have sold recently in your local area
- The overall condition of the property
- If any refurbishment, improvement or modernisation work has taken place at the property
- If there are obvious signs of damage, faulty wiring, damp or any other potential problems
- If the property has traditional or non-traditional construction
If you can improve on these aspects, you will create an excellent starting point for any property valuation at your home.
How do I prepare my house for valuation?
Rather than thinking about preparing your house for valuation as being a large task, it might be best to think of it as a number of smaller tasks. It is often easier to look at a list of smaller tasks and tick them off as you go, and preparing your house for a valuation is no different.
Duclutter where possible
By tidying your home as best you can, you can create the sense of space and minimise distractions around the home which will help with the valuation. This is also something we advise when preparing your house for a viewing.
If you don’t have time to do a full clean and tidy for the valuation, don’t worry too much but it is essential this happens for the photographs and marketing, as well as the viewings.
Don’t forget the outside of the home
It is a good idea to clean and clear the outside of your home too. It is easy to focus on the inside of your home, but first impressions are made outside of the property. Steps to take outside of your home include:
- Mowing the lawn
- Removing all rubbish and debris from the garden area
- Ensuring fences and permitter walls are in excellent condition
- Making sure your front door is in good condition
If the outside of your property is in good order, it sets the tone for a positive valuation.
Extensions and planning
If any home improvement or extension work has been undertaken, it is best to be upfront with any valuer. By pointing these out, you save time, and you also remove the risk of an issue being overlooked, and then being found later on. It is far better to have these matters acknowledged as early on as you can.
Also, it will be helpful to have the paperwork for any home improvements or upgrades that have taken place around the home. If you have these ready to share or show the valuer, you will save time. Depending on the works that have taken place, some paperwork will be requested during the conveyancing process, so it’s best to prepare them early and ideally for the valuation.
If anyone comes to your home, you should look to be as hospitable as possible. This shouldn’t have any impact on the valuation of your home, but it is always best to be as helpful and as polite as you can. Who knows how this might positively impact you later?
Does your house need to be clean for a valuation?
It should go without saying that your home should be clean before a valuation. You want to create the best possible impression, and leave no room for doubt about the condition of your home.
If you have time, you should be able to clean your home yourself to a good standard. Of course, many people lack time, or are unable to commit to a major cleaning process. If you are in this position, you could consider hiring cleaning professionals.
This incurs an additional cost of course, but in the long-term, it is likely to be a wise investment. A clean and orderly property could result in a higher valuation, which will hopefully see you receive higher offers from buyers.
So, the cost or time associated with thoroughly cleaning a property is often well-rewarded at the end of the sales process.
How do I make my valuation higher?
There is a lot to be said for improving the value of your home, and there are a range of ways you can positively impact the valuation of your property. Some are simple and affordable; others are more expensive and time-consuming. However, no matter the time or budget you have available to you, you should be able to find ways to add value to your home.
Here are some highly effective ways to add value to your house:
- Spruce up the outside of your home
- Take care of all the DIY and mini repair jobs you have around the house
- Create as much space as you can – so clean and declutter extensively
- Opt for a neutral colour scheme if you plan on redecorating
- Increase the level of usable square footage at your property
- Upgrade your kitchen and/or bathroom
- Consider if you can add a parking space at the property
This list provides a range of solutions, so hopefully there will be something for every budget and project.
Is it worth getting a property valuation?
There are many practical reasons for having a property valued, including:
- If a property is being bought or sold, a valuation is essential in determining its fair market value
- If you are a property owner, landlord or investor looking to let property, a current market valuation helps you enter the market at a fair price
- If you wish to mortgage or re-mortgage a property, it is helpful to have an up-to-date valuation of the property; as this figure influences the loan on offer
- If you are looking to transfer a property into a different ownership (eg Probate), it is important to have it valued first. This valuation will also impact any eligible stamp duty on the property
- There are various reasons why tax might have to be paid on a property, so its valuation is vital in determining the amount that is owed
- When an owner has been declared bankrupt, a valuation of the property assists the next step, such as it being auctioned off or acquired
- For certain insurance policies, the homeowner might need to state the value of their home
These are all valid reasons as to why you need a property valuation.
It might also be that you want to know the value of your home. A lot of people take immense pride in their property, and increasing its value is something to be proud of. You don’t need to be in the process of selling your house to hold an interest in what it is worth.
No matter the reason you have for arranging a property valuation, it is best to call on the services of a skilled and experienced local professional.
What happens after property valuation?
If the property valuation has been arranged for mortgage purposes, the valuer will complete their assessment, and then pass it to the mortgage company. The lender will review the valuation, and if they are satisfied with the findings, they will likely produce an offer.
If the assessment is for your information, once completed, you will be contacted by the valuer or estate agent. It is likely they will talk you through the process, explaining any issues or answering questions you have.
Can a mortgage be refused after valuation?
Just because a property has been valued doesn’t mean a mortgage will definitely be approved. If the valuation differs greatly from the mortgage application, either above or below, the lender might decide to not approve the mortgage application.
This is why it is best to have an early assessment that gives you a good indicator of what valuation is likely. From there, you can place a mortgage application that is realistic, and then all being well, the mortgage valuation will be close to what you have applied for.
Contact Dwell for house valuation services
We're an independent Estate & Letting Agents based in Leeds. We pride ourselves on high quality service and expert local knowledge delivered through focused, passionate, and well-trained staff. Book us in for a valuation appointment at an time by heading over to our valuation page here or calling us on 0113 246 4860.