What is a Property Valuation & What to Expect From One
A property valuation, simply put, is the process of getting an estimate of the worth of a property at the time of the valuation. A property valuation is important for both buyers and sellers and goes both ways. So, for example, if you are looking to sell a property, then a valuation will help you get an idea of a fair asking price for your home before you put it on the market. Likewise, if you are looking to enter the buy-to-let market, getting a property valuation through an experienced real estate agency will help you determine what the market-related rent would be and therefore the yield you can expect.
The valuation also gives you an estimate of the budget you require for purchasing a new home. If you find yourself looking at properties for sale, a valuation can make sure that the price being asked for the new home you want to buy is a fair one and, typically when buying, lenders will also request that a valuation is carried out before a loan is approved and the final amount is decided on.
A number of factors can influence the valuation of a property, such as the size, location and condition of the property itself. That is why it is important to have the valuation carried out by an experienced estate agent or an independent valuator. It is often recommended that several separate valuations are made to achieve a possible market value of the property that is as accurate as possible.
Above all you most likely want to minimise the stress and admin involved with selling or buying a house, so it is recommended that you get in touch with a property management company to guide you through and handle all the processes involved; from the property valuation, to the sale of your home and finally the purchasing of your new home. Let’s start by answering a few simple questions you might have about the valuation process.
What happens during the valuation process?
Not all estate agents and valuators have the same way of conducting a property valuation, but there are a few key factors that will always be considered. When conducting a property valuation, the valuator behaves much like a prospective buyer. They will make an assessment of the land that the property stands on, based on factors such as topography, location and size of the plot of land, as well as the zoning and future development potential of the property.
After all, the value of real estate is not only determined by what is on the land, because there is always the potential for rezoning and future development. Your estate agent, or valuator, should also provide you with some information on recent sales and current property prices in your area, which will give both you, and them, a guide towards what you can expect your property to be valued at.
The valuator will also carry out an internal and external inspection of the property, much like one typically does when viewing a property for sale. Inside the building the valuator will measure the size of the building and take notes of the amount and types of rooms, the fittings and fixtures, and the age of the property.
The condition and structural integrity of the property is also a factor in the valuation process. Things such as dry rot or rising damp can influence the valuation of a property negatively, and can often be negotiation points for buyers to lower the asking price. Externally a number of other factors will be assessed, such as ease of access for vehicles, number of garages and other useful outbuildings. The valuator will often also take photos of the property, highlighting the most important features.
A property valuation appointment can take some time, as the valuator will have to assess each part of your property. Patience is key to allow for a full and proper valuation, so make sure to set aside enough time for the appointment, and to ask any questions you may have about the valuation process.
What to prepare before a valuation?
There are a few things that you can do to prepare for the appointment with your estate agent or valuator. These will help to get the most out of your appointment and make it as easy and hassle-free as possible to get as accurate an estimate as you can of the value of the property.
The first thing is to do a little sprucing up of the place. This doesn’t mean you need to steam the carpets or scrape the gutters right away, as it is unlikely that the valuator will be taking a lot of photos before the sale starts. But a little decluttering and tidying helps to create and maximise the sense of space and highlight the key features of the property.
Another thing to have prepared is any relevant paperwork you have for the property. Documents such as building plans, lease or rate information and maintenance charges will help get the valuator up to speed and aid in you getting an accurate valuation.
Also, remember to ask questions and maybe write a few down as you prepare for the appointment. The more you know the better, and understanding the process is important in you being able to make informed decisions moving forward, and developing a good relationship with estate agents and valuators.
How can I increase the value of my property?
One always wants to add value to their home, if not solely for profit, then for the quality of life it often brings with it. There are a multitude of ways you can add value to your property, and not all of them involve extensive building and having to apply for planning permission.
First impressions are essential, so kerb and garden appeal go a long way in increasing the potential value of your home. Whether that’s simply a lick of paint to the exterior to bring a vibrant and elegant look to your home from the street, or adding a deck to your garden to create an entertainment space. Even a small garden can look inviting and beautiful with simple additions like garden furniture or pots and planters.
If you are willing and able to make extensions and build on to the property, then additions such as a conservatory for more living space, or extending your kitchen with a side-return, can add a significant amount of value to the property. A new bathroom, or en suite, will certainly add more value to the property, although this can be a particularly expensive endeavour if not planned properly.
Though, one doesn’t always have to build to create more space. Some existing facilities can be converted quite easily, to add value without breaking the bank on builders and materials. A garage, for example, could be converted into a living space, especially if it isn’t housing a vehicle and you have space to park outside. A loft or attic can easily be converted to another bedroom, which can sometimes add up to 15% to the potential value of your property.
Let somebody else do the work
Buying and selling property can entail a lot of admin and stress; we are here to eliminate that for you.
Strawberry Star Group offers a fresh, one-stop approach to real estate and property management focused on simplicity, quality and performance. With a proven track-record of ensuring market-leading returns to our investors, we understand that our clients want to work with experienced industry professionals that they can trust and rely on.
Our end-to-end service means that we cater to all your real estate needs, making the journey from valuation, to sale, to purchase, as stress-free as possible. As trusted advisors to our investors and clients, we take pride in our ability to identify great opportunities for our customers and guide them through the entire process.