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How Much Is My Home Worth?

Do Your Homework

The Value of Your Home

If you are thinking about selling your home, or would just like to get some idea of how much it is worth, the best way to start is by doing a little online research. Websites such as Zillow (www.zillow.com) and Trulia (www.trulia.com) can help you collect price data for your zip code, as well as assess its popularity. Trulia has a helpful gadget called a "heat map," which allows you to click on your state and then zoom in on your county or city to see color-coded data on average home prices (dark green being the least expensive areas, dark orange the priciest).

Once you've assessed your area's overall popularity and price range, you need to start collecting data on individual home prices. The above-named sites will help you do this, as will sites like Realtor.com. Just enter your zip code, then pull up a list of all of the MLS listings for homes currently on the market. Be sure to compare apples to apples when you're looking at these homes, though--does that $800,000 home offer any features yours does not, such as a swimming pool, fireplace, Jacuzzi, or sunroom? How does the square footage stack up? Look for houses roughly comparable to yours in terms of size (yard size, too), amenities, and general state of repair. These are the prices you should be looking at. Bear in mind, though, that these are just asking prices. You may need to consult your local newspaper to find out what homes in your neighborhood actually sold for.

Contact a Real Estate Professional

Once you've spent enough time researching so that you feel you have a pretty good idea of what to expect, your next step is to contact a real estate agent or broker to request an evaluation of your property. Most real estate agents will be happy to provide such an assessment and may even do so for free. Evaluations may also be requested through an agent's website, and making such a request will not involve any contractual obligation to that agent. You may, if you choose, request such an assessment from multiple agents and compare the results. These assessments will be made on the basis of "comps," comparing the selling prices of similar homes in your neighborhood or in equivalent neighborhoods.

Hire an Appraiser

If you want the most accurate valuation for your home, though, you'll need to hire an appraiser. A real estate appraiser is a trained professional who can assess the value not only of your house but also of the land and any improvements to it, as well as any interests, benefits and rights inherent in the ownership of the land (water, mineral, etc.). If you feel that your home's value has been improved in any way by such considerations, it will definitely be in your best interest to get a professional appraisal before you attempt to set a price for selling your property.

To learn more about your home's value, please contact BrendaFricks.com. We're the Tampa Bay real estate experts, and we can help you get the best possible price for your home when you're ready to sell.