At WeBuyAnyHome, throughout our combined 250 years’ working in property, we’ve always done our valuations thoroughly, with real people looking at every aspect of the building. However, with the emergence of so many online property valuation tools cropping up, we were fascinated. How could something we knew so well as a manual process possibly be done through a simple online tool?
To satisfy our curiosity we conducted an experiment: we took a sample of properties across the UK, and put their addresses into as many different online valuation tools as we could find. We found the same patterns again and again – but to keep things easy, here are our findings based upon a 4-bed detached property located in Durham.
Research revealed a huge percentage increase of 97% between the lowest valuation and highest valuation for the same property. How can online valuation tools present such drastically different valuation estimates for the same property?
Granted, online valuation tools should be a great way to get a rough idea of your home’s market value instantly. The tools we looked at were from major national and regional businesses – property listing sites, online estate agents, and high street estate agents. Each website’s valuation tool uses its own formula to generate a valuation or drags data from different sources to give an estimate as to your home’s market value. However, it is unclear as to how these calculations are processed and whether they hold any solid truth, so take any suggested market value with a pinch of salt.
As the formulas and sources vary between the different websites, figures from online tools are unlikely to be as reliable as seeking the professional advice of an industry expert with years of experience with local properties. There are variables that online tools cannot possibly measure.
Professional property valuations
Whilst online property valuation tools may be handy for a ballpark figure, there are so many additional factors that a property professional who is visiting a property in person will take into consideration. Those who have revamped their homes or have had an extension fitted will benefit far more with a visit from a property valuer. How could a valuation tool possibly predict the financial benefit of your new open plan living space and extra bedroom? Or the presence of rising damp? Or a massive crack in a load-bearing wall?
Whilst we would like online valuation tools to be able to provide accurate valuations (it would certainly make the lives of our team easier!), we here at WeBuyAnyHome are not at all convinced that you can get a realistic property valuation at the click of a mouse. That is why we only ever instruct RICS qualified surveyors/ valuers to assess your property. We want to give you the best and most accurate price for your property.