Knowing your home’s value is an important piece of information if you’re thinking of selling your home. Being aware of how much your home is worth will allow you to be sure it’s set at the right price and will let you determine how much you can expect to receive from the sell.
While an official appraisal will give you your home’s value, you may not be ready to make that investment just yet. Here are four ways you can calculate your home’s value on your own.
1. Evaluate Comparable Properties
You should look at home-selling websites, like Zillow or Realtor.com, to do a little bit of research to start the calculation process. Check out what other homes are selling for in your area, then narrow it down to homes in your area that are also the same size as yours. Compare the conditions of your home to the conditions of the listings. While you can’t always determine quality on from a website, you should be able to determine a ballpark range of value for your home.
2. Use the FHFA Calculator
If only there were a magic calculator that tracked your home’s change in value from one sale to the next and used that information to estimate the sale based on the current market. Well, that’s what the Federal Housing Financing Agency’s house price index (HPI) calculator is for. Just plug in your home’s information — including your home state, what part of the year you bought the house, and how much you paid for it — and it will calculate how much your house has appreciated over time. This tool is helpful, but keep in mind that it will not account for inflation and is set to look only at conforming home mortgages. But this should help you get closer to your home’s real value.
3. Use an Online AVM Tool
There’s one final step you can do to determine your home’s value on your own, and that is to use an automated valuation model (AVM). Several websites offer an AVM, like this one from Nerdwallet, that will compile information from across the web, from property transfers to tax assessments, to determine your home’s value. As you can imagine, this process is not 100% accurate but is another helpful tool in helping you narrow down the perfect price point for your home.
4. Get a CMA from a Local Agent
The last step you can take in determining your home’s value without spending the money on an appraisal is to get a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local real estate agent. Most agents will offer at CMA at little or no cost to you, probably in hopes of becoming your selling agent. A CMA provides the agent’s evaluation of the home, coupled with their knowledge of the local market, to provide an informed valuation that will not be quite as detailed as a formal appraisal but will still give some guidance.
These four tactics are what most homeowners use to inform their home’s selling price. Armed with the information from all four sources, you can better negotiate with potential buyers and can be sure you are getting the most out of this investment.
Have you done some renovations to your home since you bought it? Check out the upgrades that return the most during resale.