Appraisals and Market Value

  • Are there standard ways to determine how much a home is worth?

    Yes. A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a home’s value. Your real estate agent can provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year along with the listing, or asking, price on current homes for sale should prevent you from overpricing your home or underestimating its value.

    A certified appraiser can provide an appraisal of a home. After visiting the home to check such things as the number of rooms, improvements, size and square footage, construction quality, and the condition of the neighborhood, the appraiser then reviews recent comparable sales to determine the estimated value of the home. You also can check recent sales in public records, through private firms, and on the Internet to help you determine a home’s potential worth.

  • How do you determine how much a home is worth?

    The short answer: a home is ultimately worth what is paid for it. Everything else is really an estimate of value. Take, for example, a hot seller’s market when demand for housing is high but the inventory of available homes for sale is low. During this time, homes can sell above and beyond the asking price as buyers bid up the price. The fair market value, or worth, is established when “a meeting of the minds” between you and the buyer takes place.

  • What about appraised value and market value?

    A certified appraiser who is trained to provide the estimated value of a home determines its appraised value. The appraised value is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property, and several other factors. Market value is the price the house will bring at a given point in time, once you and the buyer establish a “meeting of the minds” on price.

  • What is the difference between list price and sales price?

    The list price is your advertised price, or asking price, for a home. It is a rough estimate of what you want to complete a home sale. A good way to determine if the list price is a fair one is to look at the sales prices of similar homes that have recently sold in the area. The sales price is the actual amount the home sells for.