Estate agents value so many properties in the course of their lives that they can almost do it on auto-pilot. But they are taking into account a whole range of factors which, taken together, hold the key to the market value of a property. Here are some of the main ones.
1. Presentation of the property
What decorative order is the property in? Anything that renders it less than immaculate, from clutter to stained carpets and peeling wallpaper, will knock money off the price.
2. Space and size
How spacious and, just importantly, how flexible is the accommodation? Can the property be marketed as a family home, or is that stretching a point? How many bedrooms/potential bedrooms does it have? Are there rooms that would make good studies?
3. No. of Bathrooms
Does it have enough bathrooms? The number of bathrooms in a property has become increasingly important in recent years, so even a small en suite bathroom in the guest bedroom can add value.
Is there a large modern kitchen which one can imagine being the focus of family life? Properties which have them tend to sell well. Those which do not sometimes struggle.
5. Potential to expand/modify
What potential is there for expanding/modifying the property? If it is a listed building, or in a conservation area, or planning applications have been rejected in the past, all those factors are important. But if planning permission has already been granted for a conservatory, then this will be taken into consideration when the agent values the property. The property’s overall square footage is important, too.
6. Transport links
How good are the local transport links? One of the first things house-hunters take into account is how long it will take them to commute to work. If a property is poorly located in this respect, its value will be significantly lower. But in some case, a new Crossrail extension could add to the prices in the area.
7. School catchment areas
Is the home in a sought-after school catchment area? A property premium attracted by proximity to good schools is well-known and is integral to the market value of a property. House-hunting parents will go through OFSTED reports with a fine toothcomb. A good agent will do the same homework.
What is the immediate neighbourhood like? Is the property on a well-maintained street, preferably tree-lined and with traffic-calming measures? Or are there noisy pubs/main roads/stations within earshot?
9. Garden/Outside space
How big is the garden? Is it south-facing? Has it been well looked after? A small or scruffy garden will put buyers off, whereas a beautiful garden can be priceless when it comes to marketing a property. If the property has no garden, is there a balcony or terrace?
10. A USP
Does the property have an X factor, some indefinable something that sets it apart from similar properties on the same street? Perhaps there is a beautiful stained-glass panel in the front door. Or a gorgeous view from the master bedroom.
Valuing properties is an art and a science. But it is not a total lottery. An experienced estate agent will be mentally ticking the boxes as they tour your house and neighbourhood.
If you’re thinking of selling or letting your property, or you're just interested to know what it is worth in the current market, contact your local Winkworth office for an up to date valuation, or book your free market appraisal here.