Why you should use an online valuation tool

The internet is full of online valuation tools which are really helpful as a starting point for both buyers and sellers. If you are looking to sell your home, you can estimate how much you are likely to receive and therefore how much you can afford to spend on your next home by simply entering a few details. Buyers can also use online valuation tools to assess the price of a property they are interested in compared to other houses in the neighbourhood. How do they work though, what details do you need to enter and how can they offer a valuation for a home that they haven’t even seen?

What details do I need to enter?

When you start an online valuation for your house you will generally start by entering your personal details. Items like your name, contact number, and email address are all essential to the valuer so that they can send you your valuation once it is complete. You will then need to enter some details about the house. The postcode and house number will allow the valuer to locate the property but you will probably also need to input information such as property age, tenure, the number of rooms, and the type of property. You might also need to answer some questions about what features your property benefits from. Once you have entered all these details the valuer will generally send you an email, although some might call you, with details of your valuation.

How do they calculate the valuations?

Online valuation websites generally use an algorithm to produce estimates of the worth of a property. They do not have the advantage of visiting your property to help them assess the value so they have to rely on comparative data in order to provide an estimate. The data that they use to produce this comparison often includes; the value of previous transactions within the location of the property as confirmed by the Land Registry, insights from local estate agents, and the asking prices for any properties on sale within the area. As a representative from an online valuation website does not visit your property in the same way that an estate agent would, they do not have the full information in regard to the condition of your property. This means that valuations should be seen as a guideline, although valuations given are still (generally!) fairly close to those that would be offered via an internal inspection.

So why should you seek an online valuation?

There are many reasons why using an online valuation service might be beneficial to you if you are hoping to buy or sell a property.

If you are looking to buy a house, you can use a valuation to check that the asking price for any property you are interested in is fair before you make an offer. Plus, you can do this without the need to bother estate agents or wasting your time carrying out copious amounts of research.

If you are thinking of selling your property, you can get an estimate of the value to check if you are in a position to do so without the need to get your house estate agent ready. Essentially, you can test if a move is feasible for you without the stress of inviting a stranger into your home and all the extra housework that often comes with making your house welcoming.
Should you choose to invite in an estate agent, an online valuation will also arm you with information that you can use to argue your case should you feel that they are undervaluing your property. In the same way, an online valuation tool can also act as a second opinion should you invite an estate agent in to view your property first, it will allow you to check if the valuations agree.

Any other benefits?

There are also benefits in using an online valuation tool even if you are not looking to buy or sell a property. A valuation might, for instance, help you to decide if it is worth making some improvements to your property in order to increase its value. Valuation tools can also be really helpful to those looking to rent out a property, as the value should inform the rental price.