Contemplating a move? Undoubtedly the first question on your mind is “What is my home’s value?” From online estimates to professional appraisals, there are not only many ways to determine your home’s worth, but many opportunities to increase its value.
Online Tools to Determine Your Home’s Value
Among the many online home valuation resources, Zillow and Redfin are two of the most popular, probably because they’re free and easy to use. Simply key in your address and you’ll receive an estimate of your house’s worth based on the location, recent sales, square footage and more. Both are a great starting point, but not precision home pricing tools by any means.
Hire a Home Value Professional — Appraisers
A far more accurate source for obtaining the true value of your home? An appraiser. Bringing the neutrality of an online source, with the discerning eye of a professional, appraisers conduct a home inspection providing them with greater information about upgrades, improvements and possible sale issues (e.g., an appraiser might suggest replacing a 20-year old furnace to increase your asking price). Along with discovering your home’s value, an appraisal comes complete with information about other local listings, suggested improvements/repairs and a recommended listing price. The downside is appraisers typically run $200-$500 for their services.
Discover Your Home’s Worth through Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
Real estate agents well versed in your neighborhood can also assist with pricing. They too bring a professional’s eye to discovering home values, although they may be less able to discern specific problems that can hold up sales. Typically, an agent will look at comps (comparable sales in the area) to determine your home’s value. CMAs are free and realtors conduct them in hopes of winning the listing. As such, it’s a good idea to get multiple CMAs and choose your realtor based on the most thorough report rather than the highest price.
Adding Worth to Your House
You’re moving, so obviously you don’t want to splurge on huge improvements, but these affordable home renovation tips can raise the value and appeal of your home considerably.
- Eliminate clutter—By clearing off counter spaces, storing away extra furniture, clearing out closets and opening up window coverings you’ll make your home appear more spacious and livable.
- Freshen up your interior with new paint—According to Zillow, the right colors can fetch up to an additional $5,000 in sales price! Neutrals win big with warm yellows in the kitchen pulling in a premium as well as light greys in living rooms and khaki to light greens in bedrooms.
- Increase Curb Appeal—When selling a home, a good first impression is key. Do It Yourself (DIY) Networks recommends touching up trim, painting your front door an eye- catching color, replacing your old mailbox, installing new address numbers and updating lighting. All serve as affordable ways to revive the exterior of the home. In addition, clean up landscaping and add fresh plants and flowers if seasonally appropriate.