How To Appraise Your Own Home
Although you will need the input of a licensed appraiser to get the true value of your home, there are certain steps that you can take to get a fair and reasonable estimate of how much it might be worth. When selling your home, having a high valuation attached to the property puts you in a very good position as a seller.
A low valuation, on the other hand, might just mean losses or even completely derail the entire selling idea/process. To help you decide whether or not it is worth paying a licensed appraiser for a more accurate number, here are the tips on how to appraise your own home.
Compare it to similar properties in the region
The thing about property sales is that the price tag often slightly varies depending on the location. This is to say that similar houses within the same general location will often sell for almost the same amount of money with very little variance depending on what else the sellers did to the property to increase its value. All things remaining constant, the same house down the street should sell for roughly the same amount as your home.
It helps to run a quick search online or at the local county offices to see which title deeds changed hands recently within the same location and at how much. The number you find listed there is averagely how much your home is currently worth in the local market.
Use estate agents to get a comparable price
Experienced estate agents who operate within the same region have a very good idea of how much the houses in that region sell for when putting on the market. In fact, they would know when your house would fetch more and when it would fetch less. If you can find a trustworthy estate agent they can give you an honest estimation of how much your house is worth. This method, however, is highly dependent on how trustworthy the estate agent is, to begin with.
There are some agents who will give you a very lucrative estimation just so you can put your house on the market and they can try to sell it for a commission. These kinds of houses often end up spending an eternity on the market or selling for much less than is expected. You would do well to get estimations from three or four different estate agents. From those numbers, you can get an average figure that will indicate how much your house is worth.
Use a contractor
Contractors have a very good idea on how much similar houses are worth based on their construction work. They will take a quick estimate of all the materials used, the square footage and just how much additional work has gone into improving the house. They will then give you an estimate of how much your property might be worth.
Ultimately, if you are planning to sell, you will have to hire a professional appraiser. But trying to find out roughly how much the house is worth will guide that decision. There is no need to hire a professional appraiser if the house is underwater unless you do not mind selling at a loss.