Houzen: Instant valuations must evolve
Instant property valuations are generic and unhelpful in their current form, according to Zuzanna Chmielewska, brand director of proptech firm Houzen.
According to Chmielewska, the ‘run instant valuation’ button found on most estate agency websites in the UK, which base the data on only a postcode, provide a generic, and not very helpful, valuation figure.
Chmielewska said: “Websites always claim that an on-site visit by a professional is required for a specific valuation and after you have completed your online instant valuation you will receive a report via email and a local agent will get in touch to arrange an appointment.
“This involves an allegedly accredited and qualified property expert coming to your home to give a more detailed and accurate valuation.
“An agent will consider the most recent market dynamics and property rates, also taking into account the unique features of your home as well as advice on how to potentially heighten its value.”
She went on to say that as a result of the pandemic, the switch to online would improve the service offered.
Looking to the use of automated valuation models (AVMs), Chmielewska said that the majority of instant valuation tools use only publicly available historical data, which she believes results in them not being accurate.
She added: “Many AVMs are also using transactional data, which may lag anywhere from three to six months, although surveyors are similarly restricted in terms of data recency.
“Transactional data is a good data source but still does not account for changes in current market conditions.
“On top of this, automated valuations can only assess the data they have access to.
“Which means the stats are limited to short and limited information available on Zoopla or a marketplace listing as well as official documents.
“They cannot take into consideration the decor, view, parking, quality of exterior.”