How do you determine how much your house is worth?


Quick Answer

While homeowners can use online home value estimators, such as Zillow, to determine the value of their home, the best way to have a home appraised is to consult a licensed real estate agent. Real estate agents can pull up comparables on the Multiple Listing Service in order to accurately assess the value of a home.

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Full Answer

Comparables, commonly called "comps," are nearby homes of about the same size, condition and age. A real estate agent who is familiar with the area can find the most accurate comparables and use their sales prices to determine the value of a home. While it is possible, with some digging, to find recent home sale prices in a given neighborhood by searching online, a real estate agent has quicker access to the most up-to-date figures through the Multiple Listing Service. Real estate agents are generally willing to provide this service for free, especially if the home is going to be placed on the market.

Another option for determining the value a home is to hire an independent appraiser. During the mortgage application process, banks generally require an appraisal. However, to get the best idea of the home value, opt for an independent appraiser, as bank appraisers tend to be too conservative in their valuation.

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