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Why online property valuations are inaccurate

If you are thinking of selling your property for a change of scenery, the chances are you will have headed online to find out exactly how much your property is worth in comparison with other properties in your area.

Online valuation sites such as Zoopla may surprise you with a particularly precise value for your property, but we recommend that you take this figure with a big pinch of salt.

That’s because all these types of sites do to reach that figure is take the price you paid for the property – data that’s easily found via the Land Registry – and multiply it by the average price increase (or decrease) in your property’s postcode district.

In truth, sites like Zoopla do go to some lengths to make it clear that their property valuations are estimates and they encourage users to improve the overall accuracy of their online valuation by providing additional information about the property. This information enables them to make a more informed decision about the condition of a building and its subsequent value.

If you’re looking for a quick house sale, the best thing you can do is secure a property valuation from a professional assessor or surveyor. They will visit your property in person and inspect the building to help them make the most accurate valuation possible.

An experienced local property valuer will also factor in the overall supply and demand for your type of property, which could add or decrease the market value of your home.

These types of valuers work to a specified set of standards when valuing property, as specified by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

This includes the age and type of the building, the state of its fixtures and features, its overall state of repair and its proximity to local amenities.

An online property valuation service will also be completely unaware if you require a quick house sale; but if you liaise with a property buying company – who will employ their own independent valuers – you’ll be able to articulate the speed with which you need them to work.