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Are estate agent valuations free?

Thinking of selling your home? Start by getting a valuation from a few estate agents to find out what your home’s worth. Here’s everything you need to know about estate agent valuations.

Words by: Ellie Isaac

Senior Editor

Estate agent valuations are a free way to find out what your home is worth. 

In fact, an agent valuation is the single most accurate way to get an estimated selling price for your home.

And there’s no obligation to sell your home with the estate agent afterwards.

If you’re just starting to think about moving, it’s a chance to find out what you could sell for in the current market.

Or maybe if that new kitchen or garage conversion has boosted your home’s value.

For others, it’s a way to learn about the local housing market and decide when the right time to sell might be.

Thinking of selling?

Get the ball rolling with an in-person valuation of your home. It’s free and there’s no obligation to sell if you change your mind.

For estate agents, they're able to share their knowledge of the area and hopefully be on your radar if you decide to sell.

“We always provide free valuations to share our expertise and knowledge of the local housing market with homeowners,” says Giles Redford, Branch Director at EweMove Uddingston and Bothwell.

“The valuation allows us to assess the property’s market value and give the seller an idea of what to expect when listing the property for sale.

“It also means we can discuss our services - including the marketing and advertising strategies we’d use to sell the property - and build a relationship with the potential client.”

How do estate agents decide on a value for your home?

Estate agents will consider both the characteristics of your home and what’s happening in the local housing market to land on a value.

“A home’s value is determined by numerous factors,” says Tom Ashwood, Director at Tom Ashwood Real Estate.

“This includes market trends, previous sales data we hold as a company, and information that is available more widely, such as house price indexes and historic sales data.”

“We primarily look at similar properties we have sold versus the demand we currently have for similar properties.”

Giles agrees, stating that an estate agent’s understanding of the local market is vital in estimating a realistic selling price.

“We consider any trends in the local housing market - including changes in demand or supply of properties similar to yours - and we’ll use Zoopla to research recent sales of similar properties in the area.”

The location, size, layout and condition of your home are all factored into the valuation as well, he explains.

“Homes in desirable areas with high demand typically have a higher value than those in less desirable locations,” says Giles.

“The size of your home - including the number of rooms and bathrooms - as well as the layout, flow of the space and features such as a new kitchen, garage or extra storage can all add to its value.”

“We’ll consider the overall condition, including the age and upkeep of the structure, as well as any repairs or renovations needed.”

Once all of these factors have been taken into account, the estate agent gives you a figure, highlighting their findings and recommendations for the value of your home.

How accurate are estate agent valuations?

An estate agent valuation is the most accurate way to find out the value of your home if you are looking to put it on the market.

Local estate agents have the experience, tools and knowledge to have a very good idea about what buyers would be willing to spend on a home like yours. 

It can be harder to establish a likely price for unique homes or those with special characteristics. This is why it's important to get the views of more than one estate agent, especially ones that sell homes like yours.

And they can consider factors that the data might not tell us, like improvements, renovations and even styling, based on who is looking to buy in the market today.

But if you want a quicker way to get an estimate of your home’s value, we can tell you in a couple of seconds.

Track your home's value

  • See how your estimate is changing every month

  • Check how your local area’s performing

  • Explore what’s on the market and what’s sold near you

  • Find out what local agents think you could sell for

Our instant estimates are a great starting point, but keep in mind they should not be used in place of an estate agent valuation.

Why can one estate agent’s valuation be different to another’s?

Different estate agents might put a slightly different price on your property.

That’s why it’s always worth getting two or three different agents to value your home.

With a few opinions, you can get a more accurate picture of the value of your home and what you could sell for.

“There are several reasons why my valuation might differ from another estate agent’s,” says Giles.

“One possible reason is using different data sources to research comparable sales, such as different listings or data providers, or different ways of calculating a property’s value.

“The housing market moves quickly and changes in market conditions can mean a valuation today is very different to one a few months ago.

“There are of course personal biases too, with estate agents having different opinions or beliefs about the value of a property.

“Selling strategy should be taken into account too. An estate agent may try to be more conservative or aggressive with their pricing based on their client’s preferences or current market conditions.”

What else can I learn from an estate agent valuation?

Beyond finding out what you could sell for, there are more benefits of speaking to a local estate agent.

And it’s definitely not a one-way conversation, says Tom.

“We would discuss the homeowner’s onward situation with regards to a move at the valuation. This includes their motivations to move, their financial situation and any timescales they’d like to work to.”

And the estate agent can give you the bigger picture in a personal way, sharing trends which will play into your home’s value when it’s put on the market.

“A home valuation typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes,” says Giles.

“We approach each valuation with the understanding that some talking points are client-led and they’re likely to have questions unique to their home and potential sale.

“For example, questions about timelines and strategies are specific to each situation and may take a differing length of time to discuss, depending on how complex the situation is.

“Ultimately, we hope our valuation will firstly help a homeowner decide which estate agent is right for them and, secondly, be assured that their home will sell.”

And if you’re already thinking about your next home, you could get unique insight into what’s on the market and any homes that could meet your criteria.

Am I tied in with an estate agent after a valuation?

Nope. Not with estate agents who partner with Zoopla, anyway.

When you find an estate agent through us, a home valuation is always a free, no-strings-attached service.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.