It’s almost that time of year when the county sends around tax assessments, which gets homeowners wondering what their house is worth today. This is when I start getting calls from clients and friends asking for my opinion—an opinion I am always happy to provide.
I was thinking about this when I came across an article on Realtor.com (How Much Is My House Worth? Tools to Help You Determine Your Sale Price).
The article outlines a few ways to assess your home value:
1. Comps for the area. What similar homes have sold for is a good indication of what your home is worth. Realtor.com’s Just Sold feature is a great place to start. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code, and click "Search." A list of recently sold homes in your area will pop up, along with their sale price. The thing to remember is this may or may not be an accurate reflection of your home’s value: home improvements, mortgage rates, the economy can all factor into your selling price. But comps will give you an idea.
2. Home improvements. Things like an updated kitchen and bathrooms impact price. For example, if you are likely to get 66% return on investment from a bathroom remodel (spend $10,000 and add $6,600 to your list price). But will that be the tipping point to make a buyer choose your home over another? Who knows. And will you get the same return from a new deck or replacing the windows? Not necessarily. Those things will definitely improve marketability, but may not translate into dollars. Does that mean you shouldn’t bother? No. Make improvements that will make you happy while you live in the home. Just know you may not recoup the cost when you sell.
If you want to list your home, the best thing to do is call your realtor and set up a meeting to discuss your strategy—anything you need to do to improve marketability, timing, and listing price.