5 Tips For Accurately Valuing Your Home

Interested in selling your house but unsure of how to find the it’s true value? The five tips below will help you nail the value of your property and help you price your property correctly for a quick sale.

Neighborhood Comparables

neighborhood

The first key to evaluating your house is finding other houses in the neighborhood that are similar that have SOLD. I cannot stress the SOLD part of that last sentence enough. I can ask whatever I want for my house, but that does not mean what I’m asking for it is what it is worth. In neighborhood comps are preferred over comps outside of the neighborhood. Typically houses in the same neighborhood will have similar build structure, square footage, finishes, etc. If there are simply no sold comps in your neighborhood in the last 12 months, then you will want to find houses as close to your house as possible with the most similar number of bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, build structure, and interior and exterior finishes.

Typically when putting value on a property, you want to find at least 3 comparable properties to run it against. The reason for this is so that you can find a good average value of your house. More than likely you won’t be able to find exact model matches of your house, so you will need to find multiple houses that are as similar as possible, and try to find a good average value of the three. Some will be bigger/smaller, be upgraded or outdated, or have a basement. Once you find a few comparable properties, you can look into the specifics of each one and really evaluate your property value down to a granular level based on some of the things listed below.

Square Footage

tape measure

The next major factor to understanding the value of your house is the square footage. You want to find comparable properties as close to your property as possible with regards to square footage as this factor is incredibly important in determining value of property. A simple variance of 300-400 square feet can mean a difference in value of $10,000 or more, depending on the price/square feet in the area. So finding houses with similar square footage to yours is vital to coming up with an accurate valuation.

Basement/No Basement

basement

Whether finished or unfinished, basements can add significant value to your home, particularly finished basements. Unfinished basements are great blank canvases or great to use for additional storage space. Especially if there is minimal closet or attic space in the home. Having this unfinished space that a family can grow into is great as well and can place a home buyer at ease that even if their family or belongings continue to grow, their home will be able to meet their needs.

Finished basements are where you really start to add serious value to your home. Often times basements mimic the square footage of the main level of the home, and if you finish that out, it is like doubling the square footage of your home. Now don’t expect for basement square footage to be valued as highly as above grade square footage, but still, adding that much finished space to your home will increase your value significantly. Adding a family room, man cave, office space, a bar, or whatever else you can dream of to your basement will help add serious value to your house.

Interior Finishes

bathroom

Interior finishes are a huge factor in valuing your home. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so some key factors to really pay attention to are kitchen countertops, cabinets, flooring, appliances, paint, bathroom counters, showers/tubs, vanity, etc.

Kitchen

Kitchens are a huge factor into gathering a correct value for your home. Making sure the comps you use to compare to your house are a big deal, and if they don’t you will need to adjust negatively or positively, depending on the condition of your home. If your house has granite countertops and new cabinets in the kitchen and the other comps have builder grade counters and old cabinets, you are likely a little more valuable than the comps you are comparing to, and vice versa.

Bathroom

The other main part of the house that sells it is the bathroom. Bathroom size, counter tops, flooring , shower/tub, and vanity are all main keys in valuing your home vs another. Having a separate shower and tub is worth more than having a combined shower tub. Upgraded tile flooring, granite counters, and new vanities all add value. Make sure you factor that in when coming up with a value for your house.

Flooring

We will keep this simple. Hardwood is greater than laminate/tile, laminate/tile is greater than carpet. Having true hardwoods adds value to your home. Laminate and tile are more valuable than carpet.

Key Risk Factors

power lines

Some key risk factors to pay attention to. Is your house on a busy street, have power lines in the front or back, neighbor a commercial building or school,  etc. Or do the comps you are using deal with any of these risk factors. Taking these into account are huge when it comes to accurately valuing your home.

On the flip side, does your home or the comps you are comparing to have a water view, back or front a golf course, near a park, or have a mountain view? These are positive attributes that need to be accounted for.

Conclusion

Valuing your home is more than just looking at the zestimate or taking a quick look at some of the houses that sold nearby. Maybe those houses are much larger or smaller than your house. Or have nicer or much worse interior finishes. All of these things need to be taken into account when coming up with a price to put on your house. So if you are looking to sell your house, put the appropriate time and effort into coming up with a value for it. It will reap benefits in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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