The best property valuation tools

Posted on 11 Dec, 2019

It’s the big question every homeowner wants to know: ‘how much is my property worth?’

Whether they’re looking to sell imminently or are just curious, people love to know their real estate wealth.

While in the past it was only possible to obtain a property’s value by calling an estate agent out in person, there are now a whole host of online valuation tools that agents can build into their website or use to advise clients.

Of course, nothing beats a local ‘on the ground’ valuation provided by an actual agent but valuation tools are useful outside of office hours and provide a wider house price context when giving a figure. Viewber’s guide to the best property valuation tools:

Starting with sold prices

The Land Registry is seen as the most reliable source of house price data as it lists final sold prices as opposed to asking prices (the price paid on completion is rarely what a property is first advertised for, so figures based on asking prices aren’t entirely accurate). You can also browse Land Registry’s house price index and drill down to borough level to see the average selling price on a monthly basis.

Powered by the portals

Property valuation tools provided by the portals are meant as a compliment to objective Land Registry data but is often crude and used to glean potential seller data – they all work by asking you your email address first. Zoopla use formulas that analyse current asking prices to produce an estimated figure, while Rightmove has a sold price search that can be used in conjunction with its price comparison tool.

In addition to portals the Nationwide has a house price calculator that works if you know when a property was sold and for how much – or if past valuation details are available. Its tool comes up with a current value based on house price rises since the property’s last valuation or completion.

Bespoke website plugins

Instant valuation tools are increasingly incorporated into estate agents’ websites and are fully branded, despite who the supplier is. In addition to giving people a rough valuation figure in less than 60 seconds, many of the tools value data capture elements to boost lead generation and power remarketing strategies. 

These ‘plugins’ can run off Land Registry data, in the case of MyVal, or they can be more bespoke. VirtualVal provides an instant online estimated price range determined by historical and current market activity, while Webdadi is powered by the agent’s own for sale and sold data to create more localised valuations.

Homeflow’s level of customisation stems from asking users to choose properties that are most like their own from a selection of properties currently on the market and some valuation tools even cross into the hybrid zone, EAanalytics has developed an AI powered chat bot offering that goes by the name of Roboval – a service that’s available on an agent’s Facebook page in addition to its own website.

Whatever property valuation tool you use, it’s always best to promote the figures as enticing estimates that open the door to in-person appraisals, which, if being cynical, is what it’s really all about.

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