Whether you are buying a new home or selling your existing property, figuring out an accurate estimate for a home’s value is helpful. Home valuation can help with pricing a home for sale, getting financing on an existing property, or simply knowing what a home is worth for your benefit. There are several ways you can value your home, and these are some of the best.

Use an Online Valuation Tool

Tools like Zillow and Redfin can give you an estimate of your home’s value. All you have to do is plug in the address, and the app or website will provide you with their estimate. When using tools like these, you must remember that the tool uses an algorithm to make these estimates. While it is a complex algorithm, it is still merely a computer program. This value cannot consider factors like how the property looks and whether or not the comparable sales are foreclosures or other discounted properties. Still, these tools are a good starting point in your search.

Check Out Recent Sales

If your neighborhood has had some recent home sales, take a look at the sales price. If the homes are of similar size and condition as yours, then you can get a good idea of how much your home would also sell. Keep in mind that you may not know extenuating circumstances, such as whether the house was in foreclosure or the seller was highly motivated when doing this research on your own. Still, it gives you an excellent place to start for the information you need.

Ask for a Comparative Market Analysis

Another way to get a value for your home is to ask a real estate agent for comparative market analysis or CMA. This is a service these professionals offer to give potential clients an idea of a home’s value to get the client to book the sale with them. Some agents charge a small fee for this service, but most offer it at no cost at all in the hopes of getting your business when you’re ready to move forward. The CMA gives better insight into the current market from a professional, not a computer program.

Have an Appraisal

One of the most effective ways to get an accurate value for your home is with an appraisal. An appraisal gives a paid, professional opinion of what the home is worth based on its condition and characteristics, the prices in your local market, and comparable properties. However, an appraisal does come at a cost, and your mortgage provider may want an additional appraisal done before approving your mortgage application. Most people wait to have an appraisal until they are ready to get their mortgage because of the amount they have to pay.

Today’s homeowners and homebuyers have several tools at their disposal to allow them to get accurate estimates for a home’s value. Use these tools before listing your home on the market, starting the search for a new home, and entering the market armed with accurate valuation information.

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