Every homeowner wonders exactly how much their home is worth at some point, whether they’re planning to sell or not. It’s tempting to know the value of such an expensive asset, especially considering how much homes are selling for these days.
It’s always good to know how much your property is worth, but if you have intentions of selling in the near future, understanding this value is even more important. In fact, identifying the exact current value is a crucial factor in the selling process. Knowing how much your home is worth will help you establish a competitive listing price that should attract buyers and help you sell within a reasonable time frame.
The question is, how can you find out what your home is worth?
Get a Rough Estimate With an Online Calculator
There are some home value calculators available online that allow you to plug in your location, square footage, and the number of bedrooms/bathrooms in order to come up with an approximate property value. These are quick and easy tools to use to get a rough idea of the current value of your home.
But it’s important to understand that the answers provided are only approximate estimates. You should never use these particular figures to come up with your listing price. Instead, these tools are meant to give you an idea of where your home value stands.
Check Out What’s Currently For Sale
You can easily go on the MLS online to see what’s for sale in your area to see what sellers are asking for their homes. Ideally, the properties you look at should be within a 1-mile radius, but the closer, the better. And of course, you want to compare apples to apples. There’s no point in comparing your 3-bedroom 2-story home to a 1-bedroom condo, for instance.
Just keep in mind that just because a seller is asking for a certain amount of money doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to get it. There may be a gap between the asking price and the final sale price. Without knowing what the exact final sale prices are for homes that recently sold, it can be tough to know precisely how your home’s value compares.
That said, this is a good starting point to help you get a ballpark idea of what your home is worth.
Work With an Appraiser
Professional appraisers are typically hired by lenders to determine the precise value of a property before a final mortgage approval is provided. Lenders want to know exactly how much a property that they may issue a loan for is actually worth before providing final approval.
But you can also hire your own appraiser to find out what your home is worth. For about $300 or $400, you can have your home appraised by a professional who will provide you with an accurate assessment of what your property is worth based on current market conditions.
Appraisers use a standard appraisal form that they fill out. The items that are typically included in an appraisal report include the following details about a home:
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
Floor plan functionality
Lot size, location in the neighborhood, and features
Comparable properties that are on the market or recently sold
All these factors together will help the appraiser come up with a final estimate of the value of your home. Just make sure that the appraiser you hire is qualified and licensed or certified in the state of California. The appraiser should also be familiar with the local area.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you’re planning to sell in the future, your best bet would be to hire a real estate agent right off the bat. In addition to all the tasks your agent will complete for you to make sure your home is properly marketed, they’ll also conduct a thorough comparative market analysis on your home to determine its worth.
Agents will pull a list of “comps” – or comparables – of similar homes in the area that have recently sold. They’ll have all the information about the precise details of these homes in order to make sure they match as closely to yours as possible. Your agent will choose properties that are as close to yours as possible, as different neighborhoods command different prices.
Further, your agent will also choose homes that have sold no further back than 3 months to ensure that the market back then was still relatively close to today’s market conditions.
The Bottom Line
The value of your home is incredibly important for obvious reasons. Knowing what this value is can help you determine whether or not now might be a good time to sell and identify a sound listing price when it comes time to list your home.
Knowing this value can also help you with refinancing your home, looking into a home equity loan, or even understanding why you’re paying so much in property taxes. If you’re curious about how much your home is worth, be sure to enlist the help of a real estate agent today.