How much is my house worth? Guide to Finding the Value of Your House

Maybe you’ve heard about a neighbor selling their home for more than you ever expected, or maybe you’ve been intrigued by “For Sale” signs appearing near your home. Perhaps you are considering a move to a new home.  There is a moment when every homeowner wonders the same question: “How much is my house worth?” If you’re currently asking the same question, here’s a guide of how to find your home’s value.

Guide to finding the value of your house:

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When determining the value of your house, keep in mind that there are some factors you can control – such as any renovations or improvements you’ve made to your home recently – but there are also factors that are largely out of your control, such as the overall state of the housing market in your region.

The best way to get an overall sense of your home’s value is to talk with a Real Estate Professional.  Your REALTOR® has the tools, expertise and wherewithal to present a fair and accurate suggested asking price.  You can compare with one of the popular online home value estimators, such as Zillow, Trulia or Redfin, but a REALTOR®, will always be the better resource. Try it though, just type in the address of your home, and presto! You’ll get a suggested value for your home.

But keep in mind one important fact – this is not the “actual” value of your home, it’s a value based on “comparables” in your neighborhood. For example, if two homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for $300,000, then Zillow might suggest your home is also worth $300,000.

Check with a real estate professional:

Again, this is where a REALTOR® can really be your best resource. They can factor the differences between your home and the other homes in your neighborhood. The first and most obvious factor is total square footage. But even that factor is open to interpretation, since a multi-story home may be more desirable than a single-story home, and a home with a large spacious backyard may be more desirable than a bigger home with a tiny backyard. Thus, square footage needs to be considered in tandem with overall layout (e.g. bedrooms, baths).

The next factor is location. There’s a reason why the term “location, location, location” has become a cliché within the real estate market – it’s because location really is a major determinant of value. For homeowners, location comprises a number of factors, such as access to good schools, availability of local parks, or access to a commuter rail link near a busy metropolitan hub.  Here is an opportunity to consider what type of neighborhood you want for your next home.

Location important in finding home value

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You’ll also want to take into account the age and condition of your home. Generally speaking, the older your home, the less it’s worth. That’s just a reflection of the fact that, over time, an older home has more wear and tear than a brand new home. And the more the condition deviates from “move-in ready,” the more of a discount you’ll be forced to offer.

If you’ve ever watched any of the real estate-themed shows on cable TV, you’ll understand the problem immediately – the house might look fantastic on the outside, but on the inside, it may need a lot of work.

For that reason, many homeowners invest in renovation projects. In many cases, these projects are meant to boost the value of a home in the event of a future sale. These renovations might include everything from installing a backyard deck to installing solar panels on your roof. It could include new granite countertops for the kitchen or brand new flooring.

Taking the above factors into account can give you a very real sense of the value of your house. You could also hire a home appraiser, who will spend about two hours examining the inside and outside of your home. In the U.S,. market, the average cost of a licensed home appraiser is about $300-$400.

Unless you’re serious about selling your home immediately and are willing to pay this fee, then, you might want to just opt for an informal meeting with a REALTOR® or a quick Zillow “zestimate” and adjust it using factors like location, size and layout, and age and condition. Once you have an estimate, it is time to start planning for your next home if you are looking to sell your existing house.  Come visit some of the model homes in our many Homes by WestBay neighborhoods around the Tampa Bay area.