Property Price Advice

publication date: Sep 26, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

How to Value Property

Property Price Advice

There are lots of websites offering property price advice. But "be warned!" says Kate Faulkner, MD of independent property advice website Designs on Property. According to Kate "most of the property price advice websites though are not offering good property advice at all - in fact quite the opposite".

To help you work out whether a website is giving you good property price advice or not, follow Kate's top five tips on property price advice so you can decide for yourself if it's worth using.

Kate Faulkner's Top 5 Tips for searching Property Price Advice websites 

Top Tip One: Who is behind the Property Price Advice website?
Having reviewed many advice websites, particularly with those on property prices, we find that most are just trying to sell you something else. They are rarely written by people with an understanding of economics and the property market.

Often the site is just trying to sell advertising to other companies to drive traffic to their sites. That's fine in principle, but it often means the advice the property price site is giving is NOT based on property price expertise and it's not their main aim to give you this information.

What poor property advice sites often do is just ‘regurgitate' information from property price reports and offer property price advice on the back of this. This is a poor way to give you advice as these reports are often out of date and misleading, even at a regional level. What they don't do is interpret the information for what it means to YOU and YOUR circumstances.

What to look for in a good property price advice site: Commentary on the whole of the property market which puts each property price report into context, rather than just repeating the information contained in the reports. One which explains if the market is good for YOU that it's going up, or bad news for YOU if it's going down.

Top Tip Two: What is the Property Price advice website trying to sell you?
As well as just repeating information from out of date property price or rental reports, what poor property price advice sites do is try to write articles which drive you to specific mortgage, insurance companies, or developers to try and sell you something whether you want it or not. As a result, the information given is written purely for ‘search engine optimisation' rather than necessarily giving you the right advice.

What to look for in a good property price advice site: Look for sites that either don't make their money from companies advertising with them, or sites that give you genuinely independent advice and offer a bespoke help service rather than write too generic articles which are only aimed at selling you something!

Top Tip Three: How do they advise you on Property Prices?
The truth is no property price advice site can give you perfect advice on your property's value. The way websites which ‘predict' what your property is worth do so using sold property data by postcode which can include lots of different properties in them. For example, we tested property price advice sites and found they valued the same square footage of flats in the same block at over 100% difference, when in reality this just isn't possible!

What to look for in a good property price advice site: Any site which claims it, or it's reports can generate the value of your home are unlikely to be accurate, so look for property price advice sites that always state you must seek local information and verification from local estate agents and surveyors.

Top Tip Four: Don't rely on On-line Property Price Advice
However good the website valuations are, they are bound to be inaccurate as property prices can change on a weekly and monthly basis. Property price advice sites will typically update their information may be monthly or even quarterly, so they are often out of date.

What to look for in a good property price advice site: Even the very best website cannot tell you accurately what your property is worth. So any property price estimates you are given need to be verified by local agents and a fully qualified RICS surveyor. 

Top Tip Five: Only local estate and home buy agents and surveyors can give good Property Price Advice
If a property advice site gives you an estimate on your property or the one you are buying, take the estimate to the local agents/surveyors and ask for their feedback on the figure you have been given.

If you want REAL independent property price advice, then contact us or read one of the following articles:-


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