Getting your house valued
Are you planning to get your property valued? We've teamed up with the experts at The House Sales Advisory to make sure you are getting a true price for your property
They get a bad press as being unscrupulous, money-driven businessmen with bad small talk and dodgy suits. In reality, estate agents come in all guises, but the good news for you as seller is that they are generally on your side, as a good sale for you is a good business for them.
However, when you're valuing your property, you need to remember that each estate agent is vying for your business, so you need to make sure that you're clever about asking the right questions and making the right decisions that will benefit you.
Before you arrange valuation appointments
There are two things sellers should bear in mind:
1. It's all in the presentation
A good estate agent will see beyond cosmetic touches, but just like a buyer, an agent will be influenced by the appearance of your property. They will be able to truthfully give you a higher valuation and a more realistic opinion of how your house compares to the competition if it's ready for sale.
2. Demand the evidence
Make sure that you insist on seeing comparable evidence for the estate agent's valuation. Two ways that they can provide this for you are:
At least three sets of details for property like yours that they've sold recently. At least three sets of details for property like yours that they're in the process of selling.
The estate agent will be used to supplying this information, so remember that the only valuations to take seriously are the ones that are backed up with evidence and fact.
If your type of property is well represented in your area and an agent turns up with less comparable evidence than this, take their valuation with a large pinch of salt.
What you must never tell an estate agent
The estate agent will be keen to get as much information out of you as possible, but you're completely within your rights to not give it all up. The following questions are best to avoid:
'How quickly do you need to move?'
This question has nothing to do with how much your property is worth so at this stage, they don't need to know. Giving away this kind of personal information gives agents an excuse not to commit to the maximum price you could sell for. How quickly you need to move is a discussion to be had after you've chosen the agent you wish to employ.
The best way to answer this question is to just tell them you're looking to move when you get a fair price.
'What do you think is a fair price for your property?'
Under no circumstances should you ever let any agent know what you (or another agent) think your property is worth. With this knowledge the agent is likely to either overprice your property in an attempt to flatter you and win your business, or to at least agree with your idea of how much your property is worth.
Either way, all you'll end up with are agents telling you what they think you want to hear.
Your best response to this question is to say that you are not sure of your property is worth, which is why you have invited a professional's opinion. This will ensure estate agents put their best foot forward and provide you with an honest and unbiased opinion of what your property is worth.