How to find out what your property is worth

House Sale Price information from Lawpack's Sell your own Home Kit.

Valuing a property is as much an art as it's a science, but that's no excuse for not taking advantage of all the sources of hard factual information that are now available to you when you're selling your own home. It can be hard to explain why a property in one street sells for much more than a similar property in a different street. Before putting a value on your property and starting to sell your own home it's important to get a feel for the local housing market by doing your research.

Visit all your local estate agents and gather up any property details of properties similar to your own

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Estate agents can tell you if your type of property is selling quickly, at what price and to what type of house buyer. They can also tell you how many property viewings on average it's taking before properties are selling, and what percentage of the asking price house sellers are achieving. This is all vital market information which will help you set the price for selling your own home.

Ask three estate agents to value your property

As you may end up using an estate agent if you can't sell your property privately, it's not wasting estate agents' time to ask them to value your property. Most estate agents provide free valuations and you're under no obligation to instruct them to sell your property. Also, good estate agents keep an eye on the properties they have valued, and, even if they're not instructed, may approach you if they have a house buyer who might be interested. In these circumstances, you can negotiate a lower fee, say, 0.5 per cent, or a flat fee of say, £1,000, if this results in a house sale.

If your property has potential, it's useful for house buyers to know how much the property would be worth if, say, the loft is converted or the kitchen extended. Estate agents can tell you how much your property would be worth if certain improvements were made. Get them to put their valuations in writing.

View as many similar properties as possible

While you are property hunting for your next home, you could slip in a few viewings of properties similar to the one you're selling. Use the opportunity to ask the house seller what their potential house buyers have liked about their property.

Use local statistics

The Land Registry now publishes the selling price of every property sold in England and Wales, and since 2003 this information is available for a fee of (currently) £2 over the internet.

If a similar property, or several similar properties, to yours have sold recently, it's worth checking the house sale price with the Land Registry. For this all you need is the address and the postcode. If you have the address but no postcode, the Royal Mail website has a postcode search facility.To find the selling price of a particular property, visit the Land Registry website here.

Enter the address and postcode of the property you're researching and the site will then search the Land Registry data base. At this point, when the entry on the register is found, you are asked to pay the current fee of £3 by entering your credit or debit card details.

If you don't have internet, access you can make an application by post. The Land Registry also publishes detailed information on average property prices for different types of property in every postcode minus the last two letters. 

For Scottish property, the Registers of Scotland agency website provides similar services and information.

A number of internet-based services (such as UpMyStreet) exist to monitor local property prices and trends nationwide and there are now two sites offering price information direct from the Land Registry. Some information is available free but you may have to pay for more detailed reports.

Find the best internet property price finders here.

Further Information on For Sale signs and selling your own home:

  • Find out more about selling your own home with our Sell your own Home Kit.
  • Lawpack's For Sale sign.

Published on: June 3, 2008

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