How do I determine how much my home is worth?

Summary: Unfortunately, this is not something that can be answered without talking to a Realtor. When you own a home, you have the ability to make it your own and improve it in the ways you want. If this is something you’ve done you will need to get it appraised.

 

Determining how to price your home is important for pinpointing the right asking price—and for selling your home. Even if you’re not in the market to sell, it’s fascinating to see how much your investment may have appreciated over the years. But how do you find this magic number? Here are some ways to figure out “what is my home worth” and how it could affect you if you decide to sell:

 

What is My Home Worth?

A good starting point in figuring out what your home is worth is to enter your address on our Home Valuation tool, which will instantly price your home based on data such as its square footage and recent home sales in the area. But while this will help you get a ballpark idea, remember that there’s no substitute for the expertise of a real estate agent, who has access to a vast database of information to help you hone in on that number.

 

Your Agent’s Expertise

Real estate agents specialize in running a comparative market analysis to determine the value of your home. Finding a home that is nearby, similar in square footage, and has the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms that was sold within the past 90 days will help for the analysis. (Ideally, the lot size is also equivalent, but that’s most applicable to rural areas where homes are set on multiple acres.) After finding a few similar properties that have sold recently, the agent averages the purchase prices and uses that figure as a baseline for how much your home is worth.

 

Be Realistic and Stay Objective

It’s hard to accept that your home is worth less than what you paid for it, or that you can’t just tack on the price of the renovations you’ve made. On average, renovations will only get you a 64% return on investment, although that varies based on the type of upgrades you’ve made. Price your home too high, and it could wind up sitting on the market. That’s a big problem because a property that goes unsold for an extended period of time (e.g., more than 30 days) often becomes stigmatized.

 

Pricing your home below market value in an attempt to stir interest and generate multiple bids can also backfire. Granted, the strategy that could work in a hot seller’s market, but underpricing your home frequently leads buyers to assume that your home is worth only its list price. Your best bet: Know what your home is worth and list your home close to that figure — aka its market value.

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