A property market appraisal is one of the very first steps towards putting your house up for sale. Unlike a formal valuation — which is undertaken by a professional surveyor — it involves an estate agent analysing your property for sale purposes, and providing a guide price ahead of listing.
To help you understand a little bit more about the process, Paul Turner, head of residential appraisals at Applegate Properties, offers some insight…
Prior to your at-home appointment, you will have already had conversations with your estate agent,either via telephone or in the office — to understand more about both the house heading to market, as well as you as the seller. So don’t be shy! The more information you can offer, the clearer the picture, and the more accurate the price estimate as a result.
The focus of these early discussions will be centred around three main objectives — what, why, and when.
What (house details): Think of this as the ‘obvious stuff’, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking and accessibility, information about the garden, and so on. Local area, property size and type, as well as the condition of a home are all key determining factors, so it’s important to reflect these as accurately as possible too.
Often overlooked, but equally important, is considering the reason you bought the property in the first place. Were the scenic views the real selling point? Was there a quirky characteristic or feature that specifically drew you in? Whatever it is, this may well be the key to enticing a new buyer.
Why (the reason for moving): From up-sizing or downsizing to relocating for better access to schools, being closer to family, wanting more outdoor space, and more — there are a whole host of reasons why people ‘up sticks’.
As well as delving deeper into your own circumstances, it’s always a good idea to bring some available houses to the appraisal, to see if your dream home could be just around the corner.
When (desired timeframe): The best estate agents are not there to rush your decision-making — they should work at your pace, and ultimately be led by you. However, it’s important they know how quickly you’d like to turn a sale around. Are you just getting started on your journey and seeking an idea of price? Or have you found your next move and therefore hoping to market as soon as possible?
At Applegate Properties, we’ve experienced a wide range of standpoints throughout our 13 years of operation, so are not averse to a speedy sale. But we do care about building a relationship with our customers throughout the whole moving process, whenever that may be.
What happens during your at-home market appraisal appointment?
A couple of conversations into the market appraisal process, a specialist sales agent will make a visit to the property, in order to make an accurate assessment of its worth. The appointment may go a little something like the following:
Look around the property: You’ll essentially give your sales agent a guided tour – taking them around the space, talking about what you like and dislike, as well as the elements which first stood out when you bought the home, and any improvements or modifications that have been made during your tenure.
Conduct market research: Next, they’ll measure up the property to ascertain square footage. Using land registry data and their own history, the agent will then look at recent local sales for comparison. This not only helps to give the most accurate value possible, it also ensures this figure is achievable in line with future mortgages — which are heavily based on £/ft2 calculations — to avoid sale fall-throughs at all costs.
Marketing strategy run-through: Market appraisals not only involve getting to know the seller and the property, but the estate agent too. They’ll be keen to achieve the very best price, with the least amount of stress, and should therefore demonstrate how they plan to proceed with your sale. Every vendor is different, so it’s important that each approach is tailored, personal, and targeted.
Discuss the pros and cons: It’s important to major on the good points, which is why you’ll often be advised to make staging tweaks for photographs — such as making sure beds are well-presented, displaying garden furniture to make most of outside space, or putting a laptop somewhere to showcase a much-needed workspace. Your estate agent may even advise to look at potential to extend or reconfigure the property, to widen the potential market.
Offer an idea of price: Based on both recent sales and £/ft2, as well as marketing strategy, you’ll then be able to discuss the guide price. While we always list homes sensibly and realistically, Applegate Properties is also keen to listen to the vendor and allow them to set their expectations — we act for you.
Advice to ease the process: After ensuring they have got your buying requirements right, your property market appraisal expert should confirm whether you need support with any other aspects of sale and purchase — Applegate Properties has an independent mortgage advisor, for example, as well as a good network of contacts for solicitors, removals, and so on.
Progressing to market after the appraisal
Following the appraisal meeting, your property agent will most likely leave details and figures there and then — following up with an email to summarise the discussions.
At a convenient later date, once the vendor has had chance to digest the outcome and pose any queries, it’s important to then reconvene and discuss next steps to progress to market. There’s no rush, this is at the seller’s discretion..
We strongly encourage prospective vendors to call into the local office to meet the team, have a coffee, and chat through the process. Above all else, this will help you get a feel for the team, based on how they welcome you into the branch, and understand how well they align with your needs. Plus, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation!
If you're not quite ready, don’t be pressured. The right estate agent will be happy and eager to keep in touch, and get the ball rolling when you say ‘go’.