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Three Ways to Determine House Values

Mar 31, 2008
Whether you're buying or selling a home, knowing how house values are determined is in your best interest. Being able to determine house values for the homes viewed will help a buyer determine an inflated price, or a great deal. For the seller, being able to access house values of recently sold homes and knowing how house values are determined will help set an asking price that will attract buyers.

Determining House Values with a CMA

One of the easiest ways of determining the value of your house is through a Competitive Market Analysis. It's the way that professional
Realtors and real estate agents determine a good asking price for a home that they're representing. You can consult a Realtor, or you can use the same information and methods that they use to do your own CMA.

Visit your county's web site and check the recent selling prices of similar homes in your neighborhood. That will give you a ballpark idea of the general house values in your community. From there, do a little research to find out just how comparable the sold properties are to your house. By adjusting the average price up or down to account for condition, improvements or other differences, you can come up with a good price for your home.

Have Your House Value Determined By a Professional Appraiser

The most accurate way to determine the value of your house is to pay for a professional appraisal. For between $200 and $300 depending on your area of the country, you can get a professional valuation for your property. While this will get you an accurate value for your house and property, it may not be the determinant for your asking price. If your house is significantly higher in value than others in your neighborhood, you may have to drop your sights a little to stay in range. If other houses in the neighborhood are significantly better than yours, you can tack on a bit to the house's valuation to come up with an asking price.

Find House Values on the Internet

The Internet is a wonderful thing. There are a number of web sites online that will find the average selling price of houses in your area. A visit to www.housevalues.com will submit your information to a local Realtor who will contact you with an estimated value for your home.

Whichever method you use to find relative house values for homes in your selling area, you'll need to make some adjustments to find the best selling price for your home. Specifics that you should consider are the number of rooms, number of bedrooms, size of lot, any particularly desirable traits (corner lot? end of a dead end street?) that could be a selling point, as well as any major improvements made to your home. If the homes to which you are comparing yours offer amenities that yours doesn't, you will have to deduct some value. If yours has features that they don't, like a recent remodel, then you can add value.

While it may sound like a complex process, determining house values is a skill that you'll find important if you're selling a house. It's the best way to price your house to sell.
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