How to Determine Your Home's Value [Home Selling Guide]

Whether you're thinking about selling your home or just curious about how much your home might be worth, there are several routes you can take to determine you home's value. 

Methods for Determining Property Value: 

  • Use an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) to calculate an estimate. 
  • Consult a realtor or someone with knowledge of real estate sales in your area. 
  • Have an inspection to find out if any codes or regulations have changed since you bought the home. 
  • Research the market on various listing sites. 
  • Get a formal appraisal on your property for the most accurate value. 

Depending on how serious you are about selling your home, you can get a few different opinions on your home's value. The quick and easy methods like using an AVM or scanning a listing site can get you in the right ballpark, but they're not the most official methods for determining property value. If you are sure you want to sell your home, it might be a good idea to take the extra time to talk with a professional about your home's value so that you can list it at the right price. 

Use an Automated Valuation Model (AVM)

Mortgage companies use automated valuation models to get an estimate of the home's value. AVMs allow them to get a quick response to a complicated question because the housing market is always changing. However, this automated method is not the most accurate way to determine home value. It merely allows the mortgage lender to quickly pre-approve a loan while waiting for the real appraisal to come through. 

For sellers, an AVM is a great tool to start narrowing down a listing price. Sellers can get a quick estimate of how much their home is worth, so they can have a better idea of what their finances will look like post-sale. An AVM might not be the best option for determining a listing price due to the housing market's volatility. While some AVMs take into account local data and might consider the market trends to some extent, it's better to get more information in addition to an AVM to get an accurate read on your property's real value.  

Research the Local Housing Market

Another way to find a rough estimate of your home's value is by researching your local real estate market. Comparing your home to other homes in the area is a valuable way to find out the market's state and help you decide whether or not it's a good time to sell your home. Researching the local housing market can tell you how many homes similar to yours are for sale in your area and how quickly those homes are selling. If homes similar in size, quality, and condition to yours are selling quickly, your home may be more valuable than you think. 

Researching different listing sites such as HomeScout can tell you similar homes in your area's price. Several variables go into home valuation, but it can give you a ballpark idea of your local market. Selling your home at the right time is just as important as listing it at the right price. Having insight into your area's housing market can help you sell your home quickly and get the most value out of the sale. 

Consult a Real Estate Professional

Once you're serious about selling your home and have done some research for yourself, it might be time to bring in a real estate professional to help you get the ball rolling. They can offer great insight into the market and give you the resources to sell your home at a great price. 

First, realtors have connections. They have a network of other agents who have serious buyers. Realtors work with each other to help their clients buy and sell homes. More competition could mean a faster sale at a higher price. Speaking of cost, realtors can recommend a solid listing price that will make your house competitive compared to other similar homes they've seen sell in your area recently. Combining your research with their experience could be the best way to determine an appropriate listing price. 

They can also give recommendations on how to stage your home to make it most appealing to the current market. It may seem silly, but how you present your home could be a great asset to make your home seem more valuable. Without this insight, you could be missing out on some extra cash. 

Inspections Save Money

Gaining information from an inspection can be a valuable tool for narrowing down your home's value. While an AVM gives you an estimate, you can use that base value and compare it to your inspection to get an even stronger estimate for a listing price. 

For example, if an AVM determines that a home is valued at $300,000 and an inspection shows that a $1,500 repair needs to be done on the A/C unit before the house is sold, you'll either need to repair the A/C yourself or offer a credit at closing. Either way, your home is reduced in value until the A/C issue is rectified.

Note: having an inspection before you sell the home can save you money on the overall sale. Hiring a contractor to fix the unit before the buyer can request closing credit is advantageous because they will likely request more credit than it will cost to repair the unit. Getting ahead of the game can save you some cash on the sale. 

Pre-Appraisal for a Quick Sale

The most accurate valuation of your property is an official appraisal. A professional appraiser will evaluate every inch of your home and compare it to similar homes in your area. They will then take into account the current status of the housing market and give you a certified valuation of your property. An official appraisal can cost anywhere from $200-$700, depending on your region. Most sellers opt for a pre-appraisal, which is less official, but saves you a lot of money. Simply take pictures of your home and submit it to a pre-appraisal software. You'll get a quick and accurate opinion of your home's value.

A pre-appraisal could lead to a faster sale for a few reasons. First, having an appraisal before inviting buyers in to tour your home will give them the confidence that you have an accurate listing price. Buyers are sometimes hesitant to commit to a home until they know that the listing price is close to the house's true value.

Also, it will save time during negotiations. If the seller has a certified appraisal on-hand, the buyer doesn't have much wiggle room. They know how low you're willing to go before you lose money on the sale. Also, they already know the home's condition beforehand, so there isn't much to negotiate. Ultimately, having an appraisal gives you the best chance to sell your home quickly and ensure you don't lose money on the sale. 


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