Knowing the value of your home is critical to making key financial or family planning decisions. The real estate market is on the rebound and some areas are recovering faster than others, so it’s important that your property analysis be local. There are several ways to research your home’s true value.
Check with local real estate experts
Check with an agent or broker who is familiar with comparable properties in the local area. They’ll know what you can expect for a home with similar features, age and location as yours. They’ll also know which property features are hot in the current real estate market, and you might even consider updating your home with those features to enhance its appeal. Local real estate experts might also have a good idea of when the market will be in even better shape than it is now, thus bringing a better price for your property.
A professional property appraisal will cost at least a few hundred dollars, but this detailed analysis could prove worthwhile if home value will play a part in making a major life decision. The appraisal is based on a combination of comparables and an in-person inspection. Known as “appraised value,” this estimated value of your property may be more or less than the “market value,” which is the dollar amount suggested by local real estate experts you’ve consulted. Unlike the appraised value, the market value takes into consideration such variables as buyers’ incentives and how quickly the seller needs to sell the home.
Get out and visit open houses. This will be a great way for you to see first-hand the style and features of comparable properties. You will also be able to research the asking prices of these properties, and also meet realtors or brokers to help you sell your own property. Getting outside the “bubble” of your own home is a great way to figure out whether you can get more from the sale of your property – or in some cases, whether you’re expecting too much.
The Internet is full of resources to help you figure out your home’s value. Check the multiple listing service to see the values of comparable properties, if a realtor or broker isn’t already researching that information for you. There are also fee-based sites with software to provide property comparisons and home valuations.
When pricing your property and deciding whether to sell or wait, knowledge is power. Fortunately, a variety of tools are at your disposal to help ensure you get what your property is really worth.