Determining the value of your home is very specific. Is this for Refinance, for Listing for Sale or to justify the Tax Rate? Often Home Owners want a different number based on which reason this is used. You can use sites such as Zillow and Trulia for ranges although until an agent sees it in person, it would be a estimate. Call a Licensed REALTORÂ® to get a Competitive Market Analysis which would help you price your home vs the market. Although what you would really need to "Value" your home is an appraisal. I strongly recommend Wayne Six of Six and Associates. Some agents are offering to pay for an Appraisal for there Sellers at Closing when a Seller does a formal Appraisal to price the property correctly.
Jennifer Wang, REALTORÂ®, Buyer Specialist
The Landmark Group at Real Estate Teams, LLC
Trulia helps customers find homes on the market. If your house is for sale and is listed with an agent at a price he decided for you; this would be illegal. A home is to be listed at an amount the home owner wants with the guidance of his or her real estate agent.
If you want to find the most exact value of your home I would suggest doing some research on some good appraisers in your area. You could also consult with a real estate professional such as myself. All appraisals will differ in their estimated price.
There are several ways of finding the value of a home. A BPO (broker's price opinion) is usually done for banks REO (real estate owned) property. There is also a refi appraisal (for refinancing a home) and generally comes in lower than the following: a purchase appraisal, and a general appraisal which is the most common of them all. A general appraisal is very similar to a CMA (competitive market analysis). CMA's are done by agents'; we compare your home to ones similar to it that have sold in the past year or so.
Feel free to contact me if you are unclear about any of this because these are just brief explanations.
Hope this helps,
Signature Home Sales
I found your zip is Frederick, Maryland. I am located in S. NJ, but I can offer you some guidance. First, whatever you find in national news or out on the internet will not help you much. Worse, it may mislead you. Zillow is a site that offers Zestimates to try to give you an answer, but even their CEO has come out and said this is only a rough guide and not useful to find true values, and certainly not an appraisal.. Your best and only source to assist you is a local experienced Realtor, who can develop your value on the market based on local market conditions, the condition of your home, location, and other factors affecting price. I subscribe to a real estate thinktank here in NJ that has studied pricing, and shows data that reveals an overpriced home will sell for less than a correctly priced home, and take much longer to sell. There are no shortcuts to answer your question, trust me! Good luck, and pick up the phone and call a local Agent.
Everything that Sean has said is 100% correct. Website valuations are not to be relied upon. Sincerely, they are not.
As an extreme example, I am representing a property worth $3.6m. Website valuations show it to be worth $1.2m with some of the surrounding homes to be worth $800k.
In 2009, I also represented the buyer of a $5m home. The websites showed the home to be worth $2.2m and the surrounding homes to be worth far less. It was absurd.
Getting to more common situations, I assisted a buyer in which the websites showed her house to be worth $247k, when it is worth no less than $300k, at a minimum.
The overall theme here, is that these are computerized estimates that can be skewed by any number of factors. They don't take into account special features of a particular home, and the appear to be based off of public records, of which they only seem to get the bedroom count right about 75% of the time.
So, there's a big problem here, as buyers look at these numbers and take them as meaningful information. In reality, I'd consider the valuations found on Zillow, Yahoo, and Trulia to be for entertainment purposes, at best.
The ONLY way to perform a valuation is to use a Realtor, to assist you, an appraiser, or to learn the techniques those two entities do, and form your own appraisal. Though, I would caution that there's no replacement for experience and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to come to a number that will be as accurate as a Real Estate Professional.
So, contact a Realtor. Chances are they'll assist you for free.
Eric M. Abrams
Your best bet is to email a local realtor and have them comp your home. Websites just use raw numbers and generally are off by a decent amount when it comes to pricing. Either too high or too low. They do not take a look at the inside of homes and compare apples to apples.