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How to Estimate your Home's Value for FREE!

When selling your home, you may ask yourself, "How much is my house worth?" The most important first step you can make in selling a house is calculating an accurate fair market value. Price your home too low and you may lose thousands. Price your home too high and you may price yourself out of the market and never sell your home.

If your house is for sale for a long time (buyers and agents can find out how long your home has been for sale), a potential buyer will think you might be getting desperate, so they will make low (and often insulting) offers.

Home Value Tools & Resources:

There are several ways to determine your home's value using the Internet—some are Free and some are a minimal cost. Home values calculations are determined using sold prices, public records of assessed value, and other real estate information.

Chase.com

FREE Home Estimate - Use the Home Value Estimator at Chase.com to get a free estimated market value of your home or the home you are interested in. You'll also see recent sales of nearby homes that were used to calculate the value of the home.


Homes.com

FREE Home Estimate - Homes.com is a great resource to estimate the value of your home. View listing information about other homes for sale on your street. It also provides demographic information such as Population Growth, Education, Crime Rate, Schools, Job Growth, Unemployment Rate and Median Household Incomes.


Zillow.com

FREE Home Zestimate - Zillow.com has a powerful online tool which instantly calculates a "zestimate" value of your home based on your square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, homes sold recently in your neighborhood and more. This amount changes daily as info is updated into their database.

ACCURACY: Zillow claims to be within 10% accuracy of the value of the home. We find that because of the mass amount of data going into Zillow's calculations everyday, the "zestimate" of your home can vary by tens of thousands or more each day.

CONCLUSION: Zillow never claims that one should use the "zestimate" tool as a replacement for an appraisal. Zillow encourages you to use the calculation as "a good starting point" in researching the value of your home.


Conduct your own research of Neighborhood Houses

FREE

  • Collect real estate flyer's of neighborhood homes to compare to yours (FSBO's and Real Estate Agent's).
  • Pick up local real estate books and newspapers to find properties for sale in your neighborhood
  • Attend any "Open House" events of homes in your neighborhood
  • Compare your home to other properties based on the following:

    img  Type (Don't compare your Home for sale to a Condo)
    img  Neighborhood (Compare homes only in your neighborhood and school district)
    img  Size (Chose homes similar in size to your home)
    img  Amenities & Views (These can vastly increase or decrease the value or salability of a home: Private pool, tennis courts, walking trails, lake views, mountain views, privacy, street traffic, convenience, subdivision, curb appeal of surrounding homes)
    img  Number of Bedrooms, Bathrooms
    img  Garage - none, 1 car, 2 car or more, street parking, ease of pulling out into the street
    img  Age of Home
    img  Style of Home (Some homes can be harder to sell because they are very dated)
    img  Lot size, Landscaping and upkeep
    img  School District can be an important selling point!


CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)

Price Varies - A CMA is an informal estimate of your home's market value compared to comparable homes in your neighborhood. If you don't have the time to do your own research, a real estate agent can whip one up in no time. If you are considering listing with an agent, they will usually do a CMA for you at no charge. This will also give you a great idea of what your asking price should be. This report is also useful in helping you make the changes needed to make your home for sale more desirable than your neighbor's home for sale.


Get an Appraisal by a local Appraiser

From $200.00 to $400.00 - A certified appraiser will come to your home to perform a physical valuation of your home at a given point in time. This is usually very affordable, ranging from $200 - $400. An appraisal carries a lot of weight in justifying your asking price with potential buyers. The appraisal will give you a very good estimate on a realistic listing price that is reasonable and competitive.

The appraisal takes into consideration such things as:

  • Home's square footage
  • Construction quality
  • Home design
  • Floor plan & layout
  • The neighborhood
  • Convenience to shopping, schools, and transportation
  • Lot size, topography, landscaping and views


Factors that affect a home's value

There are other considerations that will raise or lower how much the home is valued at. They are:

  • The condition of a property relative to the neighborhood. For example, a beautiful professionally remodeled home will sell for more than a similiar home that has not been updated.
  • The condition of the current real estate market. If it'a a "Seller's Market" (known as a Hot market), where there are many buyers but fewer properties for sale, home prices rise due to the higher demand. In a "Buyer's Market" (a Slow market), there are many more available properties for sale and few buyers, prices of homes for sale will be less.
  • A Sellers' motivation. How quickly a seller needs to unload a property will affect the value of a home. The two most common seller motivations for needing to sell quickly is if they are facing financial difficulty and are about to be foreclosed on or if the seller has already purchased another home. Estate Sale homes are often valued much lower to sell quickly. On the other hand, a seller may just be "testing the waters" and the asking price would be much higher to start out.


Additional Costs to consider in selling your home

As you calculate your Asking Price, consider those extra costs of selling your home (or preparing your home to sell) such as improvements, repairs and advertising. Include budget in your selling incentives. For instance, you may want to offer a "cash back at closing carpet allowance" if your carpet is old or a non-neutral color. People love to know they will get cash back at closing.


Test the Waters

It's critical that your home be competitive in price. Buyers do comparative shopping and act fast on a good deal. A good priced home will attract attention and generate activity from home buyers and brokers. If you aren't seeing any traffic from buyers, it is a clear indication that the listing price is not satisfying the marketplace test.


Leave room for negotiation

Buyers like to know they are getting a good deal. If you list your house for $250,000 and refuse to negotiate an offer received of $245,000, your potential Buyer may not feel that you are a willing participate in this "negotiation".

If $250,000 is your goal for this sale, you may want to set your price slightly higher so there is room for negotiation... about $260,000 to $265,000. But don't price it too high or you won't get any phone calls. If you receive an offer and "negotiate" to your desired price of $250,000 - then your goal is met and the buyer is also happy to have gotten a good deal.

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