The reasons why one property is valued higher than another may seem puzzling to non-experts. But the factors which affect a property valuation can in fact be divided into two sections: the property itself and its environment. In this article, we outline these different factors.
The specs of the property
The core, basic specifications are perhaps the biggest contributor to the sale price. Property size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, age, fittings, and layout are all carefully considered during a valuation. Unsurprisingly, the larger the property, the more bedrooms, and the higher the quality of fittings, the higher the value of the property.
Following this, additional features are considered. These “extras” can include added storage space such as garden sheds or double-glazed windows for improved heat efficiency. More high-end features, such as swimming pools, saunas, or home gyms are also considered. Having any of these features in a property will certainly increase its value but they are subjective in terms of their appeal to prospective buyers.
Keeping and maintaining original period fittings and features can also boost a property’s value. For example, keeping the original window frames or fireplace of an Edwardian house can be more valuable than newly-fitted equivalents.
The nearby amenities play a large part in the value of a property. The number of schools, access to transport links, and the amount of green space will play a significant role. Varied and excellent schools nearby, several train and bus stations within walking distance, and plenty of parks around will significantly increase the price of a property.
We’ve mentioned the “Waitrose effect” in another article, the phenomenon where the presence of more popular brands and amenities such as coffee shops in an area can increase the average price of nearby property. All of these factors are carefully considered by property valuers.
Aesthetics play a significant role too. Properties that are well kept (cleaned regularly and repaired when needed) will fetch a higher valuation. As will additional touches that improve the way the property looks; for instance, tidy gardens and attractive windows that increase “kerb appeal” (the way the property looks from the street) will only count towards a higher asking price.
A house with nice views from inside can also fetch a higher valuation. Properties overlooking picturesque scenery, such as a river, the sea or fields, will fetch a higher price.
Any potential for renovations and expansion can also add to the listing price. A property that has space for an extension to be added, or with lofts or basements which can – or have been – converted will demand a higher asking price than a property that’s confined to its current physical limits. People who are looking to settle down in a property tend to want more customisation options available so properties that meet this desire are valued higher.
Factors outside of our control
The final considerations, which are outside of your control, are the demand for property in a given area and the number of properties of a similar specification. In a “warm market”, properties in high demand and with many interested parties can (and will) command a higher price tag since finding a (willing) buyer is simple. By the same token, if there are many available properties in a given area, then their prices will be comparatively lower – when people have options, sale prices are usually shifted to remain competitive.
How long do property valuations take?
As part of a valuation, a property expert will visit the property and thoroughly inspect all of the above. It could take an hour or more for larger, more complex properties. Combining the specifications of the property with recent property trends in the area, the valuer will then provide an accurate valuation.
How long does a property value last for?
Since property values can fluctuate so dramatically, any valuation is only valid for a certain amount of time. A valuation given to a property is unlikely to still be accurate a year later.
While there are numerous factors involved in a property valuation, it’s a reasoned, methodical process. It’s not based on guesswork but requires in-depth knowledge of current property trends and location-specific data.
James Anderson have a wealth of experience in the world of property, especially in South-West London. If you’re looking to buy or sell your property, or would simply like a valuation, then get in touch with us via our website or give us a call on 020 8876 7222. Alternatively, you can use our free Online Property Valuation Tool, which provides you with an estimated valuation based on recent sales data in your area.