If you’re thinking of selling your house, the first thing to do is work out how much it might go for. There are lots of tools and tricks to calculate house value to give you an approximate figure. By knowing what affects a property’s value you can also make your home more appealing and increase its price.
House prices have risen significantly in the past year, and in July 2021 they were up 8% annually, according to the Land Registry. But this is a national picture and you’ll need to research the local market as well.
Here we answer all your questions on property values. We’ll look at how to value a house and how to find out how much your house is worth. We’ve also included straightforward ways you can make your home more appealing to buyers.
Calculate your house value
Before you start looking at houses to move into, you need to know how much your home is worth.
There are simple ways to do this with a little bit of internet research. You no longer have to rely solely on contacting an estate agent - although they may be able to give you a more accurate picture.
Jump to a section:
- 1. Find houses that sold near you
- 2. Look at price trends by your area and nationally
- 3. Use a house value calculator
- 4. Get an estate agent to calculate your house value
- 5. Look at local asking prices
- 6. Consider what influences your house value
Find houses that sold near you
One of the best ways to calculate house value is to look online at how much other houses in your area have sold for.
There are several different websites offering this information for free, including Zoopla and Rightmove. They can give you an approximate figure for the value of your home.
The information is taken from the Land Registry and the Registers of Scotland. It usually takes around three months for a house that’s been sold to appear on these lists.
Look at price trends by your area and nationally
When you’ve looked up how much local houses are selling for, it’s also worth looking at what the housing market is doing across the country.
You’ll be able to see average national house prices as well as the number of properties being sold. This information can help you calculate house value so you have a rough idea how much your property will sell for.
There are lots house price indexes which are released on a monthly basis. They all use different data sets so it’s worth checking out a few different indexes to get a full picture of the housing market.
Halifax and Nationwide, for example, release a monthly price index based on mortgage data. There’s also the Land Registry’s report - which is arguably the most reliable as it’s based on actual sales.
Use a house value calculator
If you’re looking for a rough estimate of your home value, there are a couple of places you can get this online, for free.
Zoopla and Rightmove have tools that can provide rough estimates
The Land Registry's calculator can also give you an estimate
You could also look at the value of the other homes in the area.
By far the most accurate valuations are from an estate agent. Try and get several of these to get a good idea of the value.
You can also get a free valuation from the following websites:
Get an estate agent to calculate your house value
You could also ask an estate agency to calculate your house value. It’s worth doing this as these valuations can be more accurate. It’s also handy to be friends with a local estate agent as they can let you know as soon as properties come onto the market.
Look at local asking prices
Local asking prices are key when calculating your house value. They can indicate how much you could get for your house, and also how many properties are changing hands on a regular basis. Remember to always use a few different sources to get the best picture possible of the local housing market.
Consider what influences your house value
A few things affect the home’s value including the following:
The size and layout of the house
The amount of storage space available
Crime rates, you’ll find these on the Police.uk crime mapping website
If the house suffers from subsidence
Good transport links.
Some of these you can’t really do anything about, like the transport links. But generally, a home that’s been well maintained will fetch more than one that’s been neglected. These elements also have an impact on your home insurance costs. They’re likely to affect your level of risk and the likelihood of claiming on the policy.
Look out for any issues like damp or movement. Address these as soon as they arise. Getting an electrician to check wiring is worthwhile too.
Keep your boiler in good condition. Make sure you regularly check for any leaks.
If you’re in an area that has a high crime rate and you haven’t installed any home security, it’s a good idea to do so.
Compare home insurance quotes
Adding value to your house
There are lots of ways to add value for your home, both in the short and long term, including the following points.
Redecorate in neutral colours
Deep clean your home
Spruce up the garden
Avoid any quick fixes.
First impressions count when looking at a house. General maintenance tasks like cleaning the exterior of the house and clearing the guttering can make a big difference.
It's good for your home insurance too, insurers usually look favourably on a well-maintained house. Another bonus for potential buyers.
Having an electrical certificate can be helpful to buyers, but it’s not mandatory. It provides them with reassurance that the electrics are working as they should be.
Above all else, avoid quick fixes. Surveyors and eagle-eyed buyers will be able to see if any unsightly cracks have been covered over.
Redecorating can help. If you notice any wallpaper that’s curling or chips in the paint it might be worth giving it all a freshen up.
If you’re going the whole hog, try decorating with neutral colours. It makes it easier for potential buyers to picture what they’d do to the house if it was theirs.
How are your doors looking? Again, if the paint is peeling or cracked, give them a fresh coat of paint. Or if you have the budget, replace them.
Your garden doesn’t have to look like a Chelsea flower show entry, but it’s worth giving it a tidy. Remove any weeds, rubble or anything that could seem undesirable.
Tidy any clutter and deep clean the house. For example, shampoo the carpets and pressure wash your patio. Remove any mould or mildew from the bathroom too.
While you’re there, remove bin bags on viewing days, or if the estate agent is taking photos.
Before you host a viewing, air out the house. A tidy, airy home is much more appealing to buyers. If you’re moving, remember to read our moving-house checklist for top tips.
Long-term ways to add value to your home
A home extension
Loft conversions add space to your home, without extending
A new kitchen or bathroom
Increasing energy efficiency can be a nice bonus for some buyers, e.g. solar panels.
Sometimes you can increase the property value simply by applying for planning permission. It lets buyers know there’s potential to carry out work on the property.