Have you ever wondered what the asking price is for the house down the street? Have you ever wondered what a house on your block really sold for? Now PMZ.com can email you every time there is real estate activity in your neighborhood. With PMZ.com's What's Happening in My Neighborhood you will be able to view the listing price and actual selling price of homes in your neighborhood.
There are several ways to find out what you home's current "market value" is. You can look on the many real estate sites and see what similar homes have sold for in the last 30-60 days. Even that may not tell you since we're in a declining market and what is was worth 60 days ago most likely won't be what it's worth now. If you're actually selling, then you're better off doing it sooner than later. If you're just thinking about selling, then you may want to think twice unless you have some equity built up or have a strong reason to sell other than just to move into a different home.
Rocky was correct with suggesting you contact a Realtor. Most public real estate sites don't always have the correct information. Your best bet is to have a Realtor conduct a market analysis of your specific home in your specific neighborhood to give you a good general idea of your home's value.
However, you could always hire an appraiser to really give you closer to an exact amount, but that would cost you a few hundred dollars...where a Realtor will give you a close enough value for free.
The appraiser, David, gave you some good advice. However, he made a terrible mistake in leaving out the word "some" in all of his comments about Realtors. It is true that "some" Realtors and agents are motivated by their potential commissions in order to "tell you what you want to hear", but not ALL Realtors are as he mistakingly described.
I have lost getting listings because of telling potential sellers, not what they want to hear, but instead telling them my honest, educated opinion of what their home may potentially sell for based on the homes that had recently sold that were very close comparables...It was an amount lower than what they had hoped for.
As I trying to say in my first posting of an answer; if you're really going to sell and you really NEED to know the exact amount of your homes value, then spend the money and hire a professional appraiser. But if all you're doing is being curious as to what your home may be worth to see if you should sell or not, then I'd start with a Realtor, or two, or three, and get all their opinions for free and perhaps you'll have a general idea of what your home is worth and can make your decision off of that. Plus, you'll get to meet and test the waters to see which Realtor isn't as devious as David eluded to, and you might find a Realtor you can trust.
The main difference between having an Appraiser determine what your home is worth, and an agent doing a market analysis is accuracy. An Appraiser will tell you what you need to know, whereas an agent will tell you what they think you want to hear, to get you to sign a contract. One popular sales pitch by agents is to claim the analysis is "free", or won't cost you anything upfront. Nothing is free, it's factored into the price and commissions, and if you break it down, the analysis will cost you more and you will get less than an appraisal.
Another major difference is vested interest. An Appraiser would be unbiased and would not have a vested interest in the property or outcome (violation of regulations), whereas an agent would, in the form of commissions. Realtors/agents are licensed to SELL real estate, not determine value, therefore then can only determine an estimated selling/purchase price, not value. Those that do have (or claim to have) an appraisal license cannot value any property they have a vested (direct or indirect) interest in, again violation of regulations - conflict of interest. But then corruption brings in higher profits as the current economic situation has revealed.
Buyers and Sellers of real estate need to keep in mind that sales people have many sales pitches and tactics that are used to make a sale, or get a signed contract. Contact a professional appraiser who specializes in what you need.
In this particular market, when areas within cities, and within counties are different, you really need to connect with an experienced Real Estate Agent, who can provide you with a detailed market evaluation of your home, he or she can also present to you a market overview, which will also show you which properties you are competing with, sometimes because of the style of home, size and sometimes because of the price range you are falling into.... And then you need the expertise of that professional to discuss your best plan, and best marketing and also discuss and calculate your potential net to seller by including reducing the price and then negotiating with the potential buyers....
So a lot to look out for ....
If you do not know a good Realtor in your area, please e-mail me and I would gladly refer you to a trusted Realtor Colleague of mine in your Stockton Area in CA - just e-mail me directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
And I will connect you with each other, i.e. I will provide the agent with your name, address, e-mail adress and phone number and I will then e-mail you the contact information for that agent, and little bit of information about the agent herself!
Hope this will help you to do the first step to find out..... Why are you interested to know, just to know, to refinance or to sell ?
I hope to hear from you soon.
Edith YourRealtor4Life! Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients! And so are my Realtor/Partner/Colleagues anywhere in the US.
Have a great day!
The best thing to do is contact a Realtor to get an in-home value analysis. Any one of us would be happy to help you.
Rocky G.H. Hawrysz
Realtor, Broker Associate, e-PRO