How Much is My House Worth? Check HomeLight for Free

How Much is My House Worth? Check HomeLight for Free

Real-time home value reports

Stay on top of your home value and the latest real estate trends with our industry-leading data. Access this info 24/7 in the My Home dashboard. We’ll also send you a monthly home value report.

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Not Carrying Proper Insurance

Your lender may have required you to acquire a homeowners insurance policy. If not, you’ll want to make sure you’re insured in case a viewer has an accident on the premises and tries to sue you for damages. You also want to make sure there are no obvious hazards at the property or that you take steps to mitigate them (keeping the children of potential buyers away from your pool and getting your dog out of the house during showings, for example).

How often should I check my homes value?

While you don’t need to revisit your home’s value too often, checking on it periodically, such as once a year, is a smart move for several reasons. Knowing the current value of your home allows you to determine, for example, whether your homeowners insurance policy still adequately covers the property.

“The value of your home also affects your taxes,” Reed says. “You might be able to lower your assessment.”

It can also be helpful to know the value of your home so you know how much equity you’ve accumulated, which could allow you to qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit, or cash-out refinance.

Of course, knowing the value of your home is very important if you’re considering selling. You’ll know where you stand with buyers, and what you could potentially take home after the costs of the transaction and taxes.

Should You Sell Your Home for Cash?

Selling a home for cash is a quick way to avoid the hassle and stress of staging a house, showing it, making repairs, and juggling competing offers. However, most cash buyers won't buy a home for more than 75% of the home's value, minus any anticipated fixing-up expenses. Selling a home for cash is easier, but at a significant financial cost that should be considered.

About Chase

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2. Work with a realtor

Realtors have their own techniques for determining a home’s value, and it can be helpful to get a second opinion to go along with the estimates from an online valuation tool. The process many realtors use to estimate a home’s value is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

A CMA includes information about comparable homes (also known as “comps”) in your area. According to Nolo, a good CMA can tell you what homes similar to yours are selling for, how long it’s taking them to sell, and what homes sold for compared to their original list price.

When working up a CMA, realtors typically look for recently sold homes that are similar in:

  • Size
  • Location
  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Style and view
  • Home type (e.g. single-family home, condo, townhome, etc.)
  • Recent sales price

In preparing a CMA, realtors often look at data from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It’s a database of properties in a given area that are listed for sale or have a sale pending.

In your quest to determine your home’s value

In your quest to determine your home’s value, another tool you might come across is the Broker Price Opinion (BPO). In some states, you need a license to provide one, whereas you don’t for a CMA. The Appraisal Institute maintains information on state BPO laws.

BPOs are often briefer than a CMA and are more often used for short sale or foreclosure situations instead of for regular home sales. They are also slightly more likely to cost money vs. being free.

Keep in mind that a CMA or a BPO can still miss the mark on your home’s value because they may not take into account every feature of the property that affects value. That’s something you can address by following the next step in this guide.

Get a more detailed property value with our pricing tool

Dive deeper with our interactive pricing tool. Customize your estimate based on your home’s features and comparable homes to get a better idea of how to price your home in your market.

Why Its Important to Know Your Homes Value

Knowing how much your house is worth helps you sell it for the right price from the start. Not really understanding your home’s value could lead you to undersell or oversell.

Price your home too high and buyers will pass you up without ever stepping through the door—which could end up forcing you to slash the price later. Price it too low and you could lose thousands of dollars. The right price gets you the most money in the least amount of time.

Home value is also important in helping you make decisions when it comes to handling things like:

How Often Should I Check My Home Value?

Getting an idea of your home value at least once a year could be useful. But you probably don’t need an expert’s opinion each time—unless you’re doing something big like selling or refinancing.

Since the value of your home influences things like insurance and taxes, keeping a pulse on how much your house is worth on a yearly basis could help you save money.

For example, if you bought your house with a down payment lower than 20%, you’re probably paying for PMI—an insurance that protects your lender (not you) in case you stop making monthly payments.

If your home value goes up to the point where you now own 20% or more of the house, you can ask your lender to cancel your PMI and save yourself a ton of money!

Compare your homes to others in the area

Find out how your home measures up with homes that are for sale or recently sold. Compare market value, listing price, features and size in My Home.

How Redfin and Zillow Value Your Home

If you search “how much is my house worth?” online, you will get dozens of hits, showcasing the top home value estimators. According to NerdWallet, 22% of homeowners in the United States determine the value of their home using this method. The technical term for these tools is “automated valuation model.”

Two of the big players in this space are Redfin and Zillow. 

These tools leverage the data available from public records, such as tax assessments and property transfers. Using mathematical modeling, these tools aim to predict the value of your home based on the most recent listing prices and sales in your area. 

Both companies are transparent concerning their national median error rates. For example, Redfin reports that its current median error rate is just 2.72% for houses for sale and 6.79% for off-market homes. This means that the estimate is within these margins of error half the time. So, for when a home is on the market and sells, Redfin’s estimate will be within 2.72% of the sales prices half of the time. 

In comparison, Zillow reports that its national median error rate for on-market homes is 1.9%, and for off-market homes, that error rate increases to 6.9%. 

The issue here is that a median national error rate does not represent your local market. So, the error within your local real estate market may be better, or far worse, than the advertised national medians. 

Refinance

Refinance your existing mortgage to lower your monthly payments, pay off your loan sooner, or access cash for a large purchase. Use our home value estimator to estimate the current value of your home. See our current refinance rates and compare refinance options.

Bottom line

No single home valuation method is guaranteed to be 100-percent accurate. That’s why using a combination of resources can help give you a more informed perspective of what your home is worth.

For example, you might get a free CMA and conduct your own research using an online home value estimator, as well as the FHFA calculator and county auditor’s website. Additionally or alternatively, you could pay for a professional appraisal. Averaging together all the final values you gather could give you a more accurate picture of your home’s value.

Ultimately, however, the most reliable home value estimates come from professionals who take the time to carefully assess your property based on a variety of factors.

“All of the evaluation tools are useful in giving an idea of the worth of your home, but an appraiser and/or an experienced agent will be the most accurate sources for determining value,” Krasow says. “A trained professional will have an advantage, as a computer cannot determine intrinsic value or consider the condition and improvements you’ve made to your home.”

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