Try typing ‘ how much did a house sell for ’ into a search engine and you’ll be inundated with results.
But where is the best place to find accurate sold house price information, and how can the information benefit you when you are buying or selling a property?
How to find sold house prices
All accurate sold house price information will come from official land registry figures, so check that this is the source of the figures you find when searching for sold house prices.
Several websites also offer a current valuation estimate, based on historic sold house prices.
It is important to view these current valuation estimates with some caution, however, as they are simply based on general patterns of price increase and decrease in the local area, and cannot take into account individual property condition or any development or improvement work that has been carried out.
How can sold house price information help when selling a property?
If you are considering putting your house on the market, researching recently sold house prices in your area could help you to get an initial idea of how much similar properties in your area are selling for.
This will give you the opportunity to consider whether the sort of price you might be able to achieve will enable you to progress with your plans for after the sale (ie. purchase another property in your desired area etc.)
Of course, you will need to get an official valuation, but recently sold prices will indicate whether your future plans are likely to be achievable or not.
Another benefit of sold house price information is the knowledge it arms you with before you meet with any estate agents. Estate agents have been known to intentionally over-value properties in order to get them on their books.
When the properties do not sell, the agent will drop the price significantly to attract more buyers, which may result in a fast house sale but it means you are likely to sell your property for significantly less than you had hoped for and were led to believe was achievable.
A price reduction may also have a serious knock-on effect on any onward move. If an estate agent visits your property and values it significantly higher than the figure other similar properties in the area have recently sold for alarm bells should perhaps be ringing.
It is important to ask at least three estate agents to come and value your property, all of whom should have experience of selling similar properties in the local area, to get a realistic idea of the value of your property.
You should also ask them to justify their valuation, giving examples of other local properties they have sold.
How can sold house price information help when buying a property?
If you are planning to buy a property, sold house price information can be a great help. Some sellers are a little overambitious when it comes to the price they think their property will achieve, and as most estate agents work on a percentage of the final sale price, they will likely be only too happy to price the property high, ‘test the market’ and see just how much they can achieve.
Being armed with sold house price information can help you to justify any ‘below asking price’ offer you make on a property, and give you confidence to assess what you believe to be a fair price for a property.
If you are searching for property across a fairly wide geographical area, sold house price information can also be used to shortlist areas where properties may be within your budget.
How do sold house prices in my area affect the value of my property?
Sold house prices in your area can have a positive or negative effect on your property, depending on how your home compares to other properties in the area.
Most areas will have a local ceiling price; a maximum price that people will be prepared to pay for a property in that area. This price is likely to be within a certain range of the average property price in the area.
If your property is a particularly well-presented one, or you have carried out substantial work on the property, it is therefore likely to be disadvantaged by the area’s average sold house prices.
Conversely, if your property is at the lower end of the local property market, a high average sold house price locally will demonstrate demand for properties in the area, and could help to increase the value of your property.
What other factors might affect the value of my property?
All sorts of factors can play a role in dictating the value of your property, including:
Transport – Better transport links will also have a positive impact on local property prices, especially if you are within commutable distance of a major city. With high demand pricing many would-be homeowners out of the market in existing commuter areas, frustrated renters are always looking for new, more affordable alternatives.
Education – How your local schools are performing can also have an impact on local property prices. An ‘outstanding’ OFSTED inspection report can quickly generate increased demand for family homes in the local area, resulting in increasing property prices.
Number of properties for sale – If there is an abundance of properties available locally, there will be less competition for properties and, as a result, property prices may fall, as homeowners compete to attract the attention of potential buyers. In the same way, if there are few properties available locally, property prices are likely to rise as would-be homeowners try to outbid each other to secure the more desirable properties.
Time of year – the number of properties available is closely linked to the number of properties available for sale. At peak times there will be more people wanting to move, and therefore more potential buyers, but there will also be more properties available on the market. More buyers, but fewer properties mean higher prices. Fewer buyers, but more properties mean lower house prices.
Your home will also be affected by factors personal to your property. These can include:
Leasehold vs. freehold – If your property is leasehold in an area of mainly freehold hold properties, your property will be valued lower than comparable freehold homes. If your property is freehold, in an area of mainly leasehold properties, your home will have a higher value than your neighbours’ properties. The number of years left on a lease will also affect the value of your property; the fewer years left on your lease, the lower the value of your property.
Property improvements – The individual layout and condition of your property make it unique, which is why sold house prices can only ever be used as a guidance and not to calculate an official valuation.
Any structural issues – many of the issues that may be identified as part of a structural survey will be unforeseen, and therefore will not have been reflected in your initial property valuation. If any issues are identified, the value of your property will change accordingly.
Can potential buyers find sold house prices in my street, and how might that affect my house sale?
Sold house prices in your street can have a big impact on the sale of your property, either positively or negatively.
If house prices in your street are high, it can help you to achieve a higher price for your property. If, however, potential buyers check sold house prices in your area and find that other properties in your street have sold for significantly less than the figure you are asking, they may feel your property is overpriced.
Even if sold house price information includes photographs and floor-plans in their listings, it is difficult to make a direct comparison. Sold house price information cannot give detailed information about the condition of the property, or take account of any work that has been done to individual properties.
How much did a house sell for?
Similarly, if a potential buyer looks at your property’s historic sold prices, they may feel they are qualified to give an accurate valuation of your property.
What they will not be able to compare, from a historic sold price listing, is the condition of the property when you bought it and its current condition. Nor will they have any information about any building or renovation work that you have had done since you bought the property.
What will my house sell for?
The short answer to ‘what will my house sell for?’ is that no-one knows until you find a buyer.
Estate agents and property experts can give you an idea of what they think your property might sell for, based on recently sold house prices and demand for property in the local area, but a property is ultimately only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
What price did a house sell for – best websites
Some of the most popular websites to research sold house prices include: