If you’ve been contemplating whether or not to sell your home you’ve probably asked yourself, “How much is my house worth?” Or, you might want to know in order to assess your financial health as that’s one of the key aspects as The Motley Fool notes.
Of course, the answer isn’t all that straight forward – it’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. While that isn’t much help, in reality, it depends on the current market, whether you’re asking a tax assessor, agent or lender. Fortunately, with the help of online tools and other methods, there are ways that you can get a good idea of the value of your home on your own or with some assistance but without having to put it on the market.
Request a Comparative Market Analysis
A comparative market analysis, better known as a CMA, is an in-depth report on the current value of a particular home. A realtor can prepare this by analyzing the selling prices of similar homes in your area. It will let you know what your home is worth based on the current market. That way if you do want to sell, it can help you avoid pricing it too high or too low. Just keep in mind that while most agents can provide this to you at no or little cost, they are likely to do so with the assumption or hope that they’ll be hired as your listing/selling agent.
Take Advantage of Free Online Tools
There are multiple online tools available for free to help you estimate the value of your home. If you do a Google search of your own address, you’ll probably find out all sorts of things that are on public record such as the year your house was built, square footage, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it is, what type of home it is, how much you paid for it, and more. You’ll also see the estimated market value. The number is based on home sales in your area, or a similar one, along with local tax assessments and whether those homes are decreasing or increasing in value over a period of time.
Of course, this information is not entirely reliable as they aren’t always accurate – it depends on how much publicly available data the site can access. If the site wasn’t able to gather much information about your neighborhood, the county, and state, it becomes even less reliable. But it does provide something important, including whether the value of your home is trending downward or upward and how it compares to other homes in your area. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to sell, it can reveal if now is the right time.
Get a Professional Appraisal
While an appraisal is a necessary part of the homebuying process for any lender, you can hire a professional appraiser to get the most accurate home value any time you like. The appraiser will consider the market, meaning your neighborhood, city, and region, as well as the property itself and comparable properties, including listings, sales, vacancies and other factors for homes that are similar to yours in the same market. You’ll get an official report that reveals the expert’s opinion of the value of your home.