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Home Valuation: How Can I Tell What My Property is Worth?

Maybe you want to sell your home as a part of your 5-year plan, or maybe you are curious about how much equity you could draw. Either way, it’s natural for homeowners to be curious about home prices in their area and what their property is worth. 

Getting an accurate valuation can be a complex process with a lot of little details impacting how much your home is worth over the years. We’ve put together answers to the top questions about home valuation to help. 

How can I estimate the value of my home?

If a similar property nearby sells, homeowners might assume their home could sell for the same amount. But, there are a ton of factors to consider to determine how your property is comparable to your neighbor’s.

Homeowners who are serious about getting an accurate home evaluation for their property should get a professional appraisal or talk to a reputable real estate agent. If you’re looking to take equity out of your house with a line of credit, your lender will require that you get a professional appraisal. But, if you’re just looking to formulate your future selling plans, consulting a real estate agent is the way to go. 

Should I pay for a professional appraisal?

An online evaluation tool is free but has its limitations. Most of them do not take the conditions or upgrades of your home into consideration, and their accuracy depends on the availability of hard data. 

When you need an accurate & detailed valuation for financial reasons, it makes sense to pay for a professional appraisal. If you’re planning to sell your home in the next few years but don’t have any immediate plans, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on an appraisal. 

Can I get a home valuation from an agent even if I’m not selling my home right now?

A real estate agent can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) as part of their listing services. That will contain all of the data an agent uses to calculate your list price, ensuring you that you have a rock-solid home valuation.

If you’ve developed and maintained a relationship with your agent, you can definitely ask for that information – even if you’re not planning on selling in the immediate future. 

What factors impact a home appraisal?

Whether you consult with a real estate agent or a professional appraiser, they’re going to generate their report using specifics that may have a positive or negative impact on your home’s value. Some of these are things you can’t change, but others you can improve on if you want to increase your home’s valuation. 

Factors you cannot change

Location: The business of the street, the quality of the school district, and proximity to development are all factors that can impact the desirability of your home. 

Supply & Demand: When you have lots of buyers and few houses in a market, home values increase. If you have lots of homes listed for sale and few buyers, your home value will stay stagnant or decrease.

Comparable transactions: When nearby properties comparable to yours are selling for $250,000, there may be little you can do to push your home’s value up to $300,000. 

Factors you can change

Condition: Cracks in the foundation, leaky faucets, unmanicured landscaping, peeling paint, and all of the deferred maintenance on your “to-do” lists can put a dent in your home’s valuation. A well-maintained home can sell for a higher asking price.

Livable square footage: Bigger houses will come with higher prices, so the more livable square footage you have means the more your home’s value increases. Finishing out a basement or building an addition can be costly projects, but you may see a big return on investment once you sell.

Why is home valuation important?

Knowing your home’s current market value is just as important as knowing how much money you have in your bank account. Buyers will pay more for an upgraded or well-maintained home versus one that needs to be renovated or overhauled. Putting a value on your property takes the eye of a professional appraiser or an experienced agent who knows exactly how your local real estate market is performing. 

Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!

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