Homeowners always seem to have a ballpark estimate of their home’s worth, but when it comes down to the real value, they can be a little off target. People tend to view their home through rose-colored glasses as they calculate its value, remembering all of the tender moments that happened over the years. The open market, however, removes sentimental value from the formula and only assesses value based on features and characteristics.
In order to talk about how houses get rated, you must first understand what the term “market value” means. To real estate agents, it refers to the price a house can be bought and sold for within a practical time frame. This would be at a price that is considered fair by both the seller and buyer, and within a time frame ranging up to three months.
If you are interested in figuring out your home’s market value, you must concentrate on the types of things buyers look for when browsing around. Remember that the housing market can change in the blink of an eye and that the value of houses can vary drastically from one neighborhood to another. To establish a good starting point, take a look at the asking price of similar homes for sale in your area.
What to look for when doing a market value analysis of your home:
Location, Location, Location – What school district is the home located in? How desirable is the neighborhood? Is it near local parks, shopping centers, or public transportation?
Design and Overall Appeal – Is the layout of the home aesthetically pleasing? Does the home look nice or like a fixer-upper? Is there landscaping?
Quality of Construction – Does the house appear to be in good condition? Are there visible and obvious repairs?
Maintenance – Has the wiring and plumbing been maintained or updated? Does the home need new shingles or siding? Is there peeling or faded paint on the back porch?
Home Improvements – Is the back patio enclosed or has the bathroom recently been remodeled?
Distinguishing Features – Is there an in-ground pool for swimming or is the basement finished? Is there room in the backyard to plant a garden?
Another way real estate agents measure market value is by looking at the home’s price per square foot. This figure is calculated by taking the amount of livable square feet in the home and dividing it into the home’s most current appraised value, which can usually be found in your property tax paperwork. Look in the newspaper to see what similar houses in your neighborhood are selling for and determine their price per square foot. To prime your house to sell, you will want to price your house at a comparable rate.
Finally, you must take into consideration the current condition of the housing market. Thousands of dollars can be gained or lost depending on real estate trends. Changes in interest rates, the local economy, and even national issues have an effect each home’s market value. A booming economy improves interest rates and leads to higher home values, and on the other hand, in times of recession, home values sink below what owners think is fair. By completing a market value assessment on your home each year, you will have a better idea whether or not your home is properly insured. Be proactive, as an undersized policy will not offer much protection if something terrible would happen.