There are different ways to figure out the value of your home. First you need to get as much information from as many sources as possible. Then be as objective as possible to figure out what your home is most likely worth. Here are different avenues to consider in your information search. Comparative Market Analysis: CMA’s are often done by a real estate agent for free in hopes they’ll be able to list your property for you. The more local and experienced the agent is, the more likely they’ll come up with a realistic value of your home. The REALTOR® will research information like past sales of homes similar to yours, current listed homes, combine that with their knowledge of your neighborhood to try to give you a good ballpark value of your home. It’s also a good idea to ask them what the typical marketing time for your type of house is, so you can get a picture of how long your home may be on the market. Appraisal: Typically you don’t need an appraisal of your home if you’re just trying to figure out how much to list it for. If you decide to have one done, a typical appraisal will likely cost between $350 to $500, depending on the type of property you have. Appraisals are usually done for banks on the buyer’s behalf to make sure their loan is with in the actual value of the home they plan on purchasing. An appraiser will do a detailed and more in depth analysis compared to a CMA. A typical appraisal will take into account past sales of similar comparable homes, land sales/values, costs of construction, depreciation and sales trends. The appraiser will then do an in depth analysis and make adjustments to figure out what your property will most likely sell for in your market area. Additionally an appraiser will likely be more objective than a real estate agent as they have nothing to gain by giving you accurate information. Websites: Beware of websites that take your contact information first so they can sell/pass it local agents in your area. Other websites like Zillow.com will gather information from tax assessor records, real estate sales records and other sources and spit out an average of what it thinks your home is worth. Sometimes it will give you a reasonable value but more often you’ll get a value that’s way off base. It will then ask you to update the information to make it more accurate to take in account things like a recent additions or remodeling in hopes of getting the value closer to its actual worth. Do it yourself: Get a feel for how things are selling in your specific neighborhood or subdivision. Look up recent home sales in your area (with in the last 6 to 12 months) online or at your local assessors office. Go to any open houses in your area to get a better idea of what homes are currently being listed for and how they compare to yours. When comparing another house to yours consider the following (in order of importance): • Location • Size / Square footage (of house) • # of bedrooms / baths • Condition / Age • Construction type (stone, brick, sided, 1 story, 2 story, Townhouse, Condo) • Lot Size • Upgrades • Other features such as finished basement, screened porch, number of garage spaces, fireplaces etc. It’s best to compare houses that are closest in design and location to your own. Try asking local REALTOR®’s, Appraiser’s, Builders or people you may know who have a good feel for what the real estate market is currently doing in your area and when might be a good time to list, etc. The key to selling your home is pricing it correctly and getting as many people as possible to see your home. If you list it for too much it could be a while before it sells, if you list it to low you may get multiple offers in the first few days. For a free guide to selling your home please visit our home page.