The first significant step in the moving process is often seen as the valuation*. The majority of sellers will invite a few local agents out to provide advice. In short, sellers want advice on how to achieve the best price possible within a reasonable timeframe.
Commonly, sellers will invite the agent with the most years in business (perceived experience), the agent that sold next door (perceived success) or the agent with the cheapest fee (perceived value).
But what’s actually going on in the head of the agent? How do they arrive at that all-important figure? We wanted to give a bit of insight into the process and factors that affect value.
Most good agents will carry out research prior to attending valuation appointment, research in some cases that can take hours. The aim of the research is to acquire comparable information that enhances the accuracy of the valuation advice.
We start by building an idea on what sort of home we are going to look at using information provided to us on an initial phone call with the prospective seller. Handy tools such as Google street view help locate the property and Rightmove data helps us gather information such as rooms sizes, plot size and previous attempts to sell (if available).
Once we have a better, but not yet complete knowledge of the home we’re valuing, we can start to compile a list of comparable properties. Properties that have recently sold within the same locality and properties that are on the market that pose a threat or create an opportunity.
At The Appointment
Upon arriving, each agent will have their preferred method. We prefer to sit down with the seller first, getting to know them and their unique situation (everyone has a different story to tell). After that, we will proceed to the grand tour, engaged in conversation, we’re also computing a lot of information; from the expected or known demand of a certain target market, to the severity of a structural defect.
After a tour of the home it’s ideal to take a seat and discuss our findings. With an understanding of the seller’s situation and a complete knowledge of the property, we can provide what we feel is a sensible pricing strategy.
General Factors That Affect Value
• School catchment areas
• Local Amenities
Property Specific Factors That Affect Value
• Wear and tear
• Structural Improvements
• Room layout
• Extras (e.g. double glazing)
• Storage space
*Understandably, sometimes there is confusion between the use of the words ‘valuation’ and ‘market appraisal’ in estate agency. Technically these terms do not refer to the same thing, they have distinct meanings. For those wondering, here’s the shortest possible summary:
Formal Valuations are assessments carried out by RICS qualified surveyors and are most commonly used when buying a home using a mortgage or used during divorce settlements. A fee is paid for the registered valuers opinion.
Market Appraisals are carried out by estate agents incorporating recommendations on asking price and marketing strategies. We consider the sellers’ individual requirements, our expectations of the market going forward, and known interest of a particular property and/or location.
Matt Housley - Residential Sales
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