Can I Find Out How Much My House is Worth?
In today’s hot real estate market, many homeowners are wondering if they should sell their houses. Houses seem to be flying around like hotcakes, and you want in on the action. Maybe you’ve noticed how much homes in your neighborhood have been selling for and you’re feeling the urge to sell up, too.
Taking advantage of the rising home values before they fall is a good idea for many. But, before you pull the trigger, make sure you do your due diligence. You want your home to sell fast, but you also want to ensure it’s priced competitively.
Keep reading to learn how to find out how much your house is worth for free.
Can I Find Out How Much My House is Worth?
Put simply, yes, you can find out how much your house is worth for free quickly and easily. The best way to find out how much a property is worth is to speak to a local real estate agent for a comp.
A real estate agent will visit the property, compare sale prices in recent weeks/months/years, and assess the appropriate buying market for the property. A price will then be offered for how much your house is worth.
Another way to find out how much a house is worth is to research online. However, while these are quick and easy to do online, without speaking to a realtor, they are not always a completely accurate depiction of how much your property is worth.
How is Home Value Determined?
The value of your home is influenced by many factors, including supply and demand, square footage, number of beds and baths, location, and (most importantly), how much prospective buyers are willing to pay for it.
There are two values that real estate agents look at when determining home value:
- Fair Market Value – Fair market value is estimated based on comps, or comparative market analyses. In other words, a real estate agent will consider what similar homes in your area are selling for. If your home is especially unique, say it’s on much more land than similarly sized houses in your area, this may affect its value. Don’t let your agent say otherwise to sell a house fast. Look at the comps with your agent to determine which homes they’re comparing yours against.
- Appraised Value – When you bought your home, a licensed appraiser will have visited the property to determine a value for tax purposes (even if you didn’t see them). Appraisers consider your location, the size of your home, and the home’s condition. If you’ve made renovations, home improvements, or added square footage while you’ve lived there, you may want to hire an appraiser to reevaluate the worth of your home. This can cost anywhere from $250 to $500.
How to Find Out What Your House is Worth For Free
As a prospective seller, it’s crucial to stay involved in the selling process to ensure everything goes smoothly and you get the best price for your home. No matter how much you trust your real estate agent, it’s important to do your own fact-checking and due diligence. It’s worth the thousands of dollars you stand to lose out on if you don’t check the facts.
Here are the three main ways to find out how much your house is worth (for free).
1. Ask a Real Estate Agent For a Free Comp
The most reliable way to find out how much a house is worth is to ask a real estate agent. In fact, ask three or four. As with any profession, there are good agents and bad agents. Most agents are happy to offer a free comparative market analysis (CMA) if they think it could get them your business.
Be sure to dig into the comps provided. Cross-check the houses they’ve chosen to compare your house to by going on Zillow or Realtor and searching for the address. Ensure these homes are truly comparable to yours.
The bonus is that if you do decide to sell your house, you’ll have the choice of an agent with proven research skills. Plus, you’ll know they won’t try to lowball you just to make a sale.
2. Check Appraised Value On Your County Auditor’s Website
After you originally purchased your home, your county would have sent out a licensed appraiser to assess the value of your home for tax purposes. If you bought your home recently and want to capitalize on the sudden rise in home prices, you can see what the county appraiser valued your home at without having to pay for your own licensed appraiser.
If you’ve made renovations since then, stick with asking a real estate agent to help you determine the worth of your home. After all, county appraisers generally don’t enter the home to assess value without a sale taking place.
3. Use the FHFA HPI Calculator
The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) calculator uses historical mortgage data to analyze what the price of your home may be worth based on the appreciation of homes in your area. This will give you imputed equity in your home. This is a figure that will help you understand appreciation and decide if it’s in your best interest to sell at all.
Using this method to determine the value of a house for free is a broad stroke. But, with access to tens of millions of home sales data, it’s worth a look. It won’t tell you what your specific house is valued at. However, it will provide you with insights regarding market activity in your locale, which can help you decide whether now is a good time to sell.
Real estate is among one of the best investments you can make. It can be tempting to sell when the housing market is hot, but remember that you also need a place to go. You may end up buying a house for more than it’s worth in an effort to sell your current home – since if your property value is up, so is everyone else’s.
If you’ve run the numbers and have realized it’s not worth it to sell, consider putting funds into improving your home. This means, when you decide it’s finally time to sell, your home will be worth objectively more, instead of being dependent on uncontrollable market factors.
Are you still considering selling your house? In Philadelphia and San Diego, Brotherly Love Real Estate are your local property experts. We buy houses fast for cash, helping you get a fair price for your home with a quick turnaround.
Our goal is to provide stellar real estate services as homebuyers, and agents, when needed. Our company carries internal real estate agent licenses in PA. To get an offer on your house today, contact us online or give our expert team a call at (215) 769-9875.