How to Find the Market Value of My House


Like its name suggests, the SellersEdge.com is all about elevating a homeowners selling experience and giving sellers all the tools and strategies necessary to get the most out of their home in a timely manner. Of all the strategies available to a homeowner, however, competitive and accurate pricing is one of the most vital. It can literally make or break a sale.

When preparing a home for sale, it is important to get an appraisal from a licensed professional. A professional appraisal is the most accurate way to price a home, however, there are some ways to predict the amount a home can be sold for. This can be tricky, and should not replace a professional appraisal.

Medians, Averages, and Data Collection

When it comes to predicting a house's value the key is as with any estimate, copious amounts of data. A homeowner wishing to estimate his or her home value should use many different strategies so they can collect as much data as possible to more correctly guess their home's value. It would be best to open a spreadsheet document on a computer, or just write all the different values on a piece of paper, to keep track of all the data. Once they have collected 25 to 50+ data points, it is safe to say they could get a fairly accurate estimate by averaging out all the data.

Similar Properties

The first thing any homeowner looking to sell should do is to look at their neighborhood and find all the homes that have been sold within the last year. From that list they should pick out all the homes that are similar to their own. This will be the foundation of their estimate.

The State of New York's Tax bureau has published a chart that homeowners can use to compare their properties. It outlines the top 9 characteristics to look at when choosing homes similar to one's own. They are

-Property Condition (Good, Fair, Bad scale)

-Year Built

-Square Feet

-Number of Bedrooms

-Number of Bathrooms

-Number of cars that can fit in the garage

-Location

-Lot Size

-Basement (Y/ N or basement type)

Once a homeowner has used this list to find the most similar homes in the area that have sold in the last year, they can add these values to their data collection sheet. For more information on this property comparison chart, here is a link to the New York Tax bureau's publication: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/mv_estimates.pdf

Property Tax Estimate

Every once in a while, homeowners receive a bill from the government for their property tax. Though these bills are hardly ever happily received, they can actually be quiet useful when it comes to predicting a home's value. Most property tax bills will have two bits of information known as the tax assessed value of the property and the assessment rate. So, if on a properties most recent bill it says that the property is assessed at $100,000 and that the assessment rate is 80%, then that home is worth $125,000 - according to the government. The way this is calculated is by first taking the assessed amount (100,000) and dividing it by the assessment rate (80%). So the calculation would look something like this: 100,000 / .8 = 125,000. This is now the next point of data on the list.

Free Online Calculator

There are many online resources that surface when searching for property value estimation strategies, and though they are not 100% accurate, but they can help to flesh out a data collection table. A home owner should go online and use 10 to 15 online home value generators and add those values to their list. (If these price estimates seem to be far off base from the other data that has been collected, use them with caution).

Add Ins

The idea of an add in is something other than the home itself that can increase or decrease its value. These can be as simple as a larger lot size or the addition of a nearby park.

Parks

Parks are probably one of the largest amenities that can alter a home's value. There are many real estate studies that have shown that buyers are more willing to spend more on a home if it is close to a park or other open area. Some studies say that if the home is right on the edge of the park (or very near to it) the home's value can increase by as much as 20%. Even if the home is just a little ways away can have the prices increased dramatically.

City Amenities and Commercial Establishments

When it comes to city amenities (libraries, city parks, rivers, etc.) and commercial establishments (shopping centers, movie theaters, etc.) their proximity to a seller's property can greatly effect that properties value for better and worse. While having a shopping center next door may be convenient, it will most likely be a nuisance or annoyance to the buyer after a while. For this reason, it is important to take into account how far away the home is from any commercial establishment or city amenity.

Future Developments

Finally there are future developments. Future developments are a game changers when it comes to pricing a home. For this reason, it is imperative that a homeowner look at the area surrounding the property and to pay attention to the news so they can know what new things are coming in to the neighborhood. A perfect example of the power of future developments is what happened when Tamarack Ski Resort (a resort just 2 hours from Boise) announced its intentions to build. All along that side of Cascade Lake were dozens of cabins that were being sold for around $10,000 dollars or so each, however, the day that Tamarack was announced the values of these small cabins skyrocketed. So, it pays to pay attention to future developments.

As stated before, these tips are just for quick estimates, they are not intended to replace a professional appraisal. However, they are a good tool for homeowners to predict what they could get for their home.