Sunday, February 17, 2019 / by Jennifer Gilbertz
Your neighbor is listing their home down the street for how much!?! Word on the street is that homes are selling super-fast and with buyer bidding wars and you may be tempted to cash out your equity to make a change in your living situation. What’s the best way to find out your home’s value without paying for a formal appraisal? Many folks try to DIY (do it yourself) with online tools such as Zillow’s Zestimate, but let me ask you this, how does Zillow or any online home value tool know the condition of your home currently, any updates you’ve done, or take into consideration the several variables that differ your home to your neighbor’s home down the street?
The best and easiest way to get a clear idea of your home’s current market value, which is the amount you could expect to sell for in today’s market, is by searching for and interviewing a local professional real estate agent. You want to make sure you google and check the agent’s reviews online to verify that they indeed know what they are doing. A rookie agent or an agent that isn’t actively participating in selling real estate could give you bad advice when it comes to estimating your home’s market value. Most real estate agents would be more than happy to do a complimentary market analysis for you. What this entails is having an experienced agent do a walk-through tour of the inside and outside of your home and walk your property if you have acreage. They will take notes and sometimes pictures in order to remember the details of your home.
The best way to find out your home’s market value is for your agent to do a search using the multiple listing service and search for home’s that are as similar as possible to yours in your same neighborhood that have sold in the last 6 months. With this information your agent can calculate an estimate of what your home could potentially sell for in our current market and give you detailed information on the sold neighboring homes that they used as comparables for their research. As a potential seller, it is ultimately up to you to decide the price you will be listing your home for but a great agent will give you a low price suggestion and a high price suggestion while explaining the best strategy for listing your home based on your specific neighborhood, home type, home condition, and competing homes for sale that are similar.
There are several other benefits to having an agent do a walk-through and market analysis for you. An experienced agent can make recommendations on home repairs, decluttering, staging, and answer any questions you may have about the home selling and buying process. Also they can mock up an estimated home seller’s net sheet. This is a great tool your agent can provide you with as well. This breaks down the estimated costs to sell your home with the estimated sale price minus your costs to sell and minus any remaining liens on your property. This gives you a general idea of how much actual equity you will be may be able to receive by selling your home in today’s market.