This article outlines some of the methods and tools that can be used to estimate the value of a home in today's real estate market. Some common ways include using a home value estimator, asking a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, checking the county or municipal website for the assessed value, identifying trends in the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index, and hiring a professional appraiser. While each method has its pros and cons, a combination of methods and consulting with a professional can result in a more accurate and personalized estimate of a home's value.
Do you know how much your home is worth in today’s market?
If you are thinking of selling your home or just curious about its value, you might be wondering how to find out what your home is worth in today’s real estate market. There are different methods and tools that can help you estimate your home value, but none of them are perfect or definitive.
Here are some of the most common ways to find out how much your house is worth and their pros and cons.
Use a Home Value Estimator
A home value estimator is an online tool that uses data from public records, such as sales history, location, size, and features of your home, to calculate an estimated value. Some of the most popular home value estimators are Zillow’s Zestimate, Redfin’s Estimate, and Rocket Homes’ Estimate.
These tools are easy to use and free, but they are not very accurate or reliable. They can vary widely depending on the quality and availability of data in your area, and they do not account for the current condition, upgrades, or unique features of your home. They also do not reflect the current market trends, demand, or competition for your home.
A home value estimator can give you a ballpark figure or a starting point, but it should not be used as a substitute for a professional appraisal or a market analysis.
Ask a Real Estate Agent for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an estimate of the home’s value based on similar properties recently sold in your area. Typically, a real estate agent will perform a CMA before listing your home for sale.
A CMA is more accurate and reliable than a home value estimator because it considers the current market conditions, the location, size, features, condition, and upgrades of your home, and the prices and details of comparable homes that have sold in the past few months.
A CMA can also help you determine the best listing price and marketing strategy for your home. However, a CMA is still an opinion, not a fact, and it can vary depending on the agent’s experience, knowledge, and criteria.
A CMA is also not the same as an appraisal, which is a formal and objective assessment of the home’s value by a licensed appraiser.
Check Your County or Municipal Website
Another way to find out what your home is worth is to check your county or municipal website for the assessed value of your property. The assessed value is the amount that your local government uses to determine your property taxes. It is usually based on a percentage of the market value of your home, but it can also depend on other factors, such as the age, size, condition, and features of your home, and the tax rate in your area.
The assessed value is usually updated every year or every few years, depending on your jurisdiction. You can find your assessed value by searching for your address or parcel number on your county or municipal website. The assessed value can give you an idea of how much your home is worth, but it is not the same as the market value.
The assessed value can be higher or lower than the market value, depending on how often it is updated and how accurate it is. The assessed value also does not reflect the current demand or competition for your home.
Identify Trends in the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index
The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) is a measure of the changes in average home prices in the United States. It is based on data from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are government-sponsored enterprises that buy and sell mortgages. The HPI tracks the changes in home prices over time for different regions, states, and metropolitan areas.
You can use the HPI to identify trends in the housing market and see how much home prices have increased or decreased in your area over time. The HPI can help you estimate how much your home is worth by applying the percentage change in your area to your original purchase price or last appraised value.
However, the HPI is not a precise or comprehensive measure of home values. It does not account for the specific characteristics, condition, or features of your home, and it does not include all types of mortgages or transactions.
Hire a Professional Appraiser
The most accurate and reliable way to find out what your home is worth is to hire a professional appraiser. An appraiser is a licensed and trained expert who will inspect your home and provide a written report of its value. An appraiser will consider the location, size, features, condition, upgrades, and defects of your home, as well as the prices and details of comparable homes that have sold recently in your area.
An appraiser will also analyze the current market trends, demand, and competition for your home. An appraisal is a formal and objective assessment of the home’s value that can be used for various purposes, such as selling, refinancing, or settling an estate.
However, an appraisal is also the most expensive and time-consuming method of finding out what your home is worth. An appraisal can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 or more, depending on the size and complexity of your home, and it can take several days or weeks to complete.
Finding out what your home is worth in today’s real estate market can be challenging and confusing. There are different methods and tools that can help you estimate your home value, but none of them are perfect or definitive. The best way to find out what your home is worth is to use a combination of these methods and consult with a professional real estate agent or appraiser who can provide you with a more accurate and personalized estimate. If you are interested in selling your home or learning more about its value, contact us today and we will be happy to help you.