Whether you're a new homeowner or you've lived in your home for decades, most of us are at some point curious as to what the value is of our own homes. Especially nowadays, when your home value more than likely has risen quite significantly since the beginning of 2023. With sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc., it's easy to get a rough estimate in just a few seconds. Almost a quarter of U.S. homeowners use online home-value calculators to get a preliminary estimate of what their home may be worth. These online tools are called automated valuation models (AVM) . While Baby Boomers are starting to use these tools much more frequently, Millenials and Gen X'ers are the major players with the AVMs.

If you're looking to get your home value then the first step that one should take after getting the initial AVM calculation is to get a comparative market analysis. You can do this on your own but we highly recommend speaking with a Realtor to help in the process. This will provide various sources to weigh your comparisons to get a comprehensive estimate of the value of your home. In addition, another way provided by the federal government is the FHA House Price Index Calculator. This may be a more advanced option than most and it’s recommended to use this as a staple comparison tool in addition to your other options. Again, it is imperative you speak with your Realtor whom will be able to point you in the right direction.

Let's circle back to AVM's for a moment. AVMs are not always the simplest and most accurate solution around. The one common downside to AVMs is that they often cannot physically look inside the home. The most commonly used option is to hire a professional real estate appraiser to determine the true value of your home, even if you start off using an AVM. More importantly, lenders require an appraisal before they’ll approve a mortgage, if you’re looking to buy. Appraisals are relatively easy to get and Realtors often can help set this up with you and explain the various types of appraisals out there.

One of the most overlooked steps that most home buyers or homeowners omit in figuring out home value is searching for comparable homes, commonly referred to as “comps” in the real estate industry. These will give you an idea of the value of similar properties in your area to help determine the value of your home. Typically, one should obtain at least three comps for each property they are looking into. If you already own your home, we'd suggest still getting a minimum of 3 comps to help determine your home value. Reach out today if you're in the market for a home or would like to discuss your current home.

Posted by Andree Huffine, Sarasota Realtor on
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