What’s the Best Way to Estimate Your Home’s Market Value?

Once you own a home, you can still benefit from knowing its value. Homeowners should know the estimated value of their home at the very least to stay informed. Knowing your home’s value can also help you when you want to refinance, renovate your home, or even eliminate PMI.

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Keep reading to learn the easiest ways to estimate your home’s market value.

Use the Internet

The internet can be a valuable tool for homeowners or those shopping for a home. Today there are several reputable websites that offer an estimated valuation of your home. Of course, the value you get from any site shouldn’t be taken too seriously. You have to have some give and take on both sides of the equation. The automated valuation tools offered online though, use the most recent sales in your area. The computer doesn’t know specifics of your home, which could increase or decrease your value.

A few of the most common websites you can use are:

  • Zillow
  • Redfin
  • Chase Home Value Estimator

If nothing else, the automated valuation tools available online can give you a starting point so that you know where you stand.

Do the Research Yourself

If you are so inclined, you can obtain the information you need to determine an estimated market value for your home. The sales price of a home is public record. This means anyone can have access to the information if they want it.

The age of the internet has made it much easier to get your hands on this information. In the past, you could only find out how much a home sold for by talking to the realtor or visiting the courthouse. Today, many counties put their records online, making research even easier for you.

As you look for comparable sales, make sure you only look at homes that sold within the last six months if possible. You should also only choose homes that are the same model or as similar as possible to your home. For example, you could compare a 2-story, 3-bedroom home to another 2-story 3-bedroom home. You wouldn’t compare a 2-story, 3-bedroom home to a 1-story, 2-bedroom home, though.

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Ask a Realtor

You can often use a realtor’s services free of charge. Of course, you should only ask this of a realtor you have a good relationship with so that it doesn’t seem like you’re using them. But a realtor can give you a free competitive market analysis or broker opinion on your home’s value.

The real estate agent will use the same market data that the automated valuation tool used but they will also factor in the exact features of your home. For example, if you just upgraded the kitchen, a realtor will recognize that and be able to increase your home’s value accordingly. They can also decrease your home’s value should there be a major issue, such as a hole in the roof or damaged flooring.

The idea behind a realtor offering this type of service, though, is in the hopes of gaining you as a client when you sell your home. Make sure you let the realtor know your plans on selling (or not selling) the home so that everyone is on the same page.

Pay for an Appraisal

Your final step could be to pay for a professional appraisal. This will set you back a few hundred dollars, but it will provide you with the most accurate value for your home. If you know you will sell or refinance your home soon, paying for an appraisal will be necessary anyway so it could be a good way to start.

You’ll get the most concrete answers regarding your home’s value from an appraiser, but unless you have a use for the professional appraisal report, you may want to use one of the other options.

Figuring out your home’s estimated value can help you in many ways. Typically, you can get the answers you need free of charge. If you do end up paying to find out your home’s value, it should be because you have plans in the near future to either sell the home or refinance your mortgage.

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