How much is your house worth?
By Stephen Maunder
Article 3 of 12
How much is your house worth?
When you're selling your house, setting a realistic asking price is essential. Learn how with our insider tips and interactive house price map.
Choosing an asking price can be a nightmare, particularly if you've had wide-ranging valuations from different estate agents.
While you'll want to sell your home for as much as possible, you need to strike a balance between this and scaring off potential buyers. Remember, ultimately a property is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.
It's important to look at house prices in your area: are they rising, falling or remaining flat? Use our interactive house prices map to find out what's happening in your postcode district.
- If you're going to need a new mortgage when you move, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987 for one-to-one advice about the best deal for you.
Estate agents' insider tips: how to set your asking price
We interviewed experienced estate agents and property experts and asked for their insider tips to help you sell your house quickly and easily. In this short video, they share their advice on how to set your asking price.
What affects house prices?
There are a number of factors that affect what a house is worth:
- number of bedrooms
- parking space
- structural integrity
- wear and tear
- room layout
- any extras, eg double glazing.
Local factors will also play a big role in what your property is worth, from what the local schools are like through to how well the local economy is doing.
If, for example, your property would appeal to young professionals and there is shortage of this type of property available, you're likely to get a higher price.
Investment in local transport could mean an increase in house prices if it will cut journey times to a nearby urban area. However, a new road/railway line being built in a rural area may mean a drop in property prices.
Talk to local estate agents for the inside picture on all the factors you should take into consideration.
Find out more: choosing an estate agent - expert advice on this vital decision
Setting realistic house prices: how to do it
Use these handy hints to figure out how much your house is worth:
- Look in estate agents’ windows and online to see how much similar properties are on the market for - and then see how much they're actually selling for using the Land Registry website.
- Invite three estate agents who have recently sold properties similar to yours to value your property. Don’t simply pick the highest amount - use the research you have done to work out a realistic price.
- If you're not in a rush, it could be worth trying for a higher price. If you don't get any buyers, you can simply take it off the market and then put it back up for sale for a lower price at a later date.
- If time is of the essence, work out the minimum price you can afford to accept. Be realistic, but don’t forget that you may be able to recoup whatever discount you give on your own house price with a similar discount on the one you’re buying.
It could be worth having a survey done on your house before putting it on the market. This means that you'll have the chance to fix any problems in advance, or if it gets the all clear, you can use this in the marketing to tempt buyers in.
Find out more: house surveys explained - learn about different types of surveys and how much they cost
Asking prices vs prices paid
It's very common for buyers in England and Wales to make an offer below the asking price, rather than offering the full amount. Our 2015 survey of 1,990 recent home movers found that 73% of buyers initially offered below the asking price and 66% succeeded in paying below it, so you should factor this in when setting your asking price.
However, we also found that 5% of buyers paid above the asking price. This is more common in very competitive areas where demand outstrips supply and sellers receive bids from several buyers. If you find yourself in this situation as a seller, your estate agent will advise you on the best way to proceed.
Interactive house price map
Use the map below to see what's been happening to house prices in your postcode area. If house prices have been increasing you can afford to be optimistic when setting your asking price. If prices have been static or decreasing you will need to be more conservative.
We've focused on England and Wales as house price data is not freely available to the same level of detail in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The map works best in Chrome or Firefox.
We know that it can be hard to know where to start when looking for a conveyancer or property solicitor. That's why we've teamed up with a national law firm that we believe offers a conveyancing service you can trust. Find out more about Which? Conveyancing.
- Last updated: July 2016
- Updated by: Stephen Maunder