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Take care when using online valuation tools

If you’re looking to market your home, read on for the advantages and disadvantages of using online property valuation tools to find out the selling price of your house.

Take care when using online valuation tools

The Internet is a powerful tool for home movers

You can find property websites offering everything from home removal quotes, to enabling you to be your own estate agent.  There is a wealth of information out there that is yours for the taking.
You may have come across websites claiming to value your home by evaluating its past sale prices and that of other similar homes in the nearby area.

Online Valuation - the benefits

  • A great starting point – An advantage these web tools give you is that you can have a rough idea of your home’s market value instantly, without having to contact anyone to get an estimate. At the very beginning of your selling process, this can help you to guess how much you can afford to spend on your next property until you get confirmation from your mortgage provider and a proper valuation from an estate agent.
  • A useful reference tool – They can also be beneficial for buyers, who will be able to view the sale prices of similar properties in their desired postcode and compare them with properties that are currently for sale.

Online Valuation - the problems

  • Each tool can generate a different value – Each website’s valuation tool uses its own standard set of formulae to generate an automated figure that your home could theoretically sell for. Because the formula varies from website to website, each valuation you get can be wildly different from the last. Because of this, although they can be helpful to give you a general idea of your home’s market value, they are unlikely to be as reliable as getting the professional opinion of a human being with years of experience of local properties.
  • They just can’t cover every variable – For example, a buyer may have looked at a property online and compared the theoretical values of similar properties in the area, but despite having done all this research they may still be totally unaware that it has been given a total facelift to improve its value since its last purchase. This is something that online valuation tools cannot automatically measure.

Computer-generated valuations vs. Professional valuations

When valuing a property, an experienced chartered surveyor will apply their knowledge of the local property market. They will be able to consider many additional factors to work out your property’s value – especially if you have had major work carried out on your home since you purchased it.

Online valuation tools are handy for guidance and as a starting point, but you will need to take care before you proceed – get professional confirmation of any figure you have seen when using an online tool. Never rely solely on the predictions of valuation tools that can be found on websites across the internet.

Listen to professional advice, and remember that the true monetary value of your home is the figure that it eventually sells for, so any valuation given is somewhat speculative until you have an offer on the table. If you set your asking price too high and are unwilling to negotiate, you may be in for a long wait if you are hoping to attract a buyer any time soon.

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