Over the years, there has been much debate over whether or not Zoopla’s online valuation tool is actually accurate or not. With many using it as their main home valuation tool, it may come as a shock when their house does not sell at the asking price predicted by Zoopla’s house valuation tool. This has led to some attacking Zoopla for misleading information.
In this article, we will be discussing how to use the Zoopla property valuation, if it is accurate when you should and shouldn’t use it and whether there are any benefits to using it when looking to sell!
If you are looking for something specific, please see our drop-down menu:
- How does Zoopla’s online valuation estimate work?
- How to use the Zoopla online valuation tool
- How accurate is Zoopla’s home valuation tool?
- How should you get a house valuation?
- Zoopla Online Valuation Q&A
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How Does Zoopla’s Online Valuation Estimate Work?
Before we get started on the benefits & accuracy of Zoopla’s home valuation tool, we should look at how Zoopla actually estimates its prices. Zoopla’s property valuation tool is an estimate and it should be considered with a grain of salt. It is not, and should not be used as a definitive house valuation.
Zoopla’s online valuation tool is based on data powered by Homestack, which provides statistics from all things property – but is also owned by Zoopla. Homestack uses current trends and historic data from the HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, Ordnance Survey and Royal Mail. They take into account previous sold prices, changes in market value of local buildings, the age, size and type of property and local area crime & school rates. (would change to ‘crime rates and number of local schools’).
To note, Zoopla says that its estimation tool is more accurate in England and Wales than in Scotland as more data is available. In Northern Ireland, the data is not published at all, so the estimates are quite vague.
Also, the online house valuation from Zoopla does not take into account any renovations and makeovers or recent extensions and extra rooms. These adjustments may improve or deduct from your house valuation, but because Zoopla’s estimation tool is based on data, any of these ‘In Real Life’ adjustments will not be recognised.
How To Use Zoopla’s Home Valuation Tool
To actually use Zoopla’s house valuation tool, the process is pretty straightforward. To start, you’ll need to enter your full postcode below where it says ‘How much is your home worth?’.
Then you need to manually choose your address from the drop-down menu and press ‘get an estimate.’ Here, you’ll be provided with a property description – including how many bedrooms and receptions there are, how large it is in sq. metres, and the type of property it is. If you scroll down, it will also give you a high & low estimate of the property, as well as a property timeline of when it was last sold. The property timeline will normally only go back 10 -15 years, although sometimes it may go back further.
If you click ‘reveal the estimate’ it will ask for a log-in, either create an account or sign in with your Google account if you have one. Once through the sign-in process, you will be given Zoopla’s estimated price – which will be the average of the high and low valuations on the page before.
To increase trust in the estimation, Zoopla also includes a ‘High Confidence / Low Confidence’ rating. If your property displays a High Confidence rating, then there are a lot of homes like this in the area, the data is up to date and market conditions are steady. If your property displays a Low Confidence rating, then there are few similar properties nearby, the data is less recent and the market conditions are highly changeable.
On this pop-up page, you will also be offered to ‘Book an in-person valuation’, where your local estate agent will visit your property for a more realistic valuation. Here, you’ll input your postcode and address again, and the reason for you seeking a Zoopla home valuation (curiosity, remortgaging, renovating, selling, buying, letting).
You will need to let Zoopla know your moving plans and contact preferences, select your favourite local estate agent and then they will get in touch with you to request a viewing with the aim of providing you with a more realistic asking price.
How Accurate Is Zoopla’s Home Valuation Tool?
As mentioned earlier, the valuation tool does not take into account any real-life home improvements on your property. Not only this, but it cannot judge the condition of your home – if your house is in disrepair with smashed windows, unloved kitchens or torn-up carpets, the data will not pick this up.
This means if you did get a reasonably high valuation, this will be misleading as the market will not agree with the valuation – and your property will probably not sell. Here are some examples of where Zoopla’s property valuation tool falls short:
- Homes under the hammer – Homes that have undergone renovations, upgrades and additional extras will normally perform on the higher end of the local market. A potential buyer will be more impressed with a home that is kitted out with the best kitchen, bathroom and garden than one without all the bells and whistles. But, if you are using Zoopla’s property valuation tool – it will not pick up on this.
- Worst house on the street – A house’s condition during a valuation is one of the fundamentals of selling a house. If you have a street of houses, all of them but one have been flipped or renovated, the rejuvenated houses will sell for 10-30% more than the worst house on the street. But, if the worst house on the street went through some quick fixes like a new paint job, gardens cleaned, and house decluttered – the home could be worth anywhere from 5-30% more than it would have originally. This work that you put in, will not be recognised by the Zoopla online valuation tool.
- Selling houses – In the past when an estate agent may have tried to sell your house, they may have changed the description of your property to better suit the market. For example, if your home is a five-bedroom house, they may have marketed it as a four-bedroom house with an office to receive a higher offer. This is data that Zoopla includes in its estimation tool so it may not actually be accurate to your current home.
- Hot property– Zoopla’s online valuation tool will not pick on the style or period of the house. On your average English street, you can find Georgian homes next to 1970s builds next to 1940s estates. All of which have a different appeal to different clientele. Zoopla’s property valuation will pick up on the property’s tenure, but will not pick up any period features – making the estimation average of a street a difficult task.
What Are The Benefits Of Zoopla’s Online Valuation Tool?
It’s not all doom and gloom for Zoopla’s online valuation tool though! It can be a great resource for homeowners to get a general idea of their house valuation. It should not be taken as a formal valuation, but as a guide instead to inform any decisions at the start of your selling process.
How Should You Get A House Valuation?
If you are looking for a formal house valuation, there are many routes to go. Yes, use Zoopla’s online valuation tool as a starting point for reference, but don’t get tied down with the idea that your house will sell at their valuation price. As it will greatly depend on the condition of your property, which can only be determined via an in-person viewing. Here are some routes to valuation:
- Estate agent – If taking the local estate agent route, we would recommend choosing 3 estate agents & creating an average of the three valuation prices. This will give you a good point of view into how your house will do in the market. Some estate agents will overvalue you to win over your business so you need to take that into account.
- Research – By completing your own research using Rightmove & Zoopla and pairing this with the knowledge of the condition of your own home, you can look at properties in similar conditions and areas as yours. This will give you a good overview of the local area & the market on the property portals.
- Value change – If it has been a while since you bought your property, it’s a good idea to work out how much your home’s value has changed. Nationwide have a good house price calculator that can calculate the growth of overall house prices in your area.
- Area demand – Look at Rightmove, Zoopla and online auctions, and analyse how fast properties are selling & what type of properties are selling in your area. If you live in an area where houses are being sold quite fast, then you could ask for an improvement in your asking price. If they’re being sold slowly, then you may need to lower your asking price.
- Chartered Surveyors – One of the best ways to value your property, but also one of the most expensive ways – is to hire a chartered surveyor. This can cost upwards of £800, depending on the package you get done. But they will give you the most accurate valuation of your property, and the condition and are extremely knowledgeable of your area.
Zoopla Online Valuation Q&A:
Are Zoopla estimates accurate?
No, Zoopla’s estimates are not accurate. They should be used as a general guide and not a formal valuation. You should always get a second opinion from an estate agent or online estate agents.
What increases home value?
Improving your home value can be a large job to undertake depending on the current condition of your home. By adding fixtures and fittings to your bathroom and bedroom you could add 10-20% more value to your home. As well as adding a patio or cleaning your garden which could add up to 5% more value.
How do I value my home online?
You can use the Zoopla home valuation tool to create a general guide for valuing your home, but you should get a second or third opinion from another source like a chartered surveyor, online estate agent or local estate agent.
If you have found this article helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.