How to Estimate Your Home Value

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You should know the value of your home, whether it’s just to satisfy intellectual curiosity or to see what you can get for it when you put it on the market. This way, you’ll be prepared and have something to point to if someone asks you how you went about estimating your home value. Here are several ways that you can do that.

Use Online Valuation Tools

The internet has a lot of resources out there. It makes sense that there would be entire websites devoted to valuing people’s homes. It uses what’s known as the Automated Valuation Model (AVM). People can have it use public records to determine what the value has been on various real estate sites. Remember, though, this is going to be a price that’s going to be done sight unseen. You could have done some remodeling or your place might not be in the same shape as when you bought it.

Get a Comparative Market Analysis

You want to talk to a real estate agent for this one. They can give you a comparative market analysis (CMA). This isn’t as thorough as the fourth option in this post, but its going to give you plenty of food for thought. The real estate agent who does this might not charge you much, but they could have an ulterior motive — they want to be the one who lists the property and sells it. Keep that in mind before exploring that option.

Use the FHFA House Price Index Calculator

FHFA means the Federal Housing Financing Agency. They have their own online calculator that they use to come up with the price. It looks at “repeat sales” by sifting through mortgage transactions since the 1970s. The problem with this is that it doesn’t make adjustments for seasonality or inflation, so you are going to be looking at a number that doesn’t fit the current housing market. So, you can use it, but you have to bring in other comparisons to get the best picture.

Have a Professional Appraise It

This is probably the best way to do it. The reason for this is that they will be looking for things that you might not have thought of. Also, they know what issues there might be, like roof damage or even water damage in the walls. They will take that into account, so you’ll have a very realistic view of what your place is worth. Having it appraised will keep you from getting a nasty shock if you go in with a much higher number and then find out about the issues that will be knocking that price.

Compare Other Similar Properties

It might seem like this process is the simplest one, but you’re going to have to take a variety of things into consideration. Don’t just look at your neighbor’s place that sold. It might not actually be comparable. Go onto a MLS listing site and see what kind of properties that are similar to yours in size and other things have sold for. Find at least three of them and then come up with your own number. You might not be able to find ones that were sold, so look at the listings — though you should take the prices with a grain of salt since they might not be realistic.

You can use one of these or all of them to get the clearest picture of what your home is worth. Then it’s up to you what to do with it. You could always do home improvements to see if you want to get even more down the road. You could also just list it as it is. Whatever the case, you’ll be sure to get the closest thing to your home value.

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