First, I look at the city's assessor site. You have to start somewhere. Based on that address you are giving, I'm naturally assuming that is your home.
City assesses it right now at 155,600. That figure can fluctuate a bit yearly.
A quick courthouse search shows it was bought many years ago..,so purchase price then doesn't hold much water. I'll leave that out of here, although it is public information :) (I like to check to see if the homeowner owes too much which is why they are selling or looking to sell..and plenty do)
When was the last time you had an appraisal done? If it's anything longer-term (like years ago), chuck that out. It's meaningless now.
So, now I pull up my comp tool and see what's been selling around your home recently and for how much. Basically I want to get an idea and also see if values are holding relative to that assessment. If you were in a high foreclosure neighborhood, the whole game has changed as to what I would likely offer.
Since this home is listed as a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, I want to see other 3/1's. Everything else is irrelevant. I look for sales within the past 6 or so months, and within about a half mile (the closer the better, but I do expand as things warrant)
I find these:
77 AMHERST ST CHICOPEE, MA 01013 - $149,900 (06/30/2010)
100 BEAUMONT AVE CHICOPEE, MA 01013 - $155,000 (06/02/2010)
59 PAJAK ST CHICOPEE, MA 01013 $156,000 (05/26/2010)
42 POPLAR ST CHICOPEE, MA 01013 - $150,000 (04/16/2010)
I then break it down further by the $/square foot. I come up with 163,823 when all is said and done.
What does that mean? In a theoretical perfect transaction, that's the most a buyer would *likely* pay. Of course you can ask for more, or less. Value is always subjective. Furthermore, this is also presuming the home is in fantastic shape overall. If it needs 20,000 in repairs and updates, you'll need to adjust appropriately.
All that took me <20 minutes to do. Piece of cake. Of course, someone else will come up with a different figure...which is why there's never an exact figure, but if you get it within a reasonable range, that's just as good.