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How to Find Out What Your Home is Worth

When you're ready to start selling your own home, the first big step is figuring out how much it is worth. There are many factors that can affect the value of a home, including improvements, current market conditions and the surrounding properties. A realtor is trained in various techniques to help them determine what the asking price for a property should be, but since you don't have the benefit of that training, here are some easy tips to help you figure out how much your home is really worth.

1. Contact an appraiser. The only way to get the exact idea of your home's value is to contact an appraiser. They're going to need to be involved in the sale of your home at some point, so it's a great idea to get that out of the way up front. Make sure that you take them on a full tour of your home, showing any improvements that you've made as well as informing them about any appliances or other items of value that will be staying with the house.

While an appraisal isn't free, it is the single best way to determine the exact value of your home. You can use the certificate given to you by the appraiser to show prospective buyers that you are offering them a good value and that is one less step that will have to be taken before the sale can close when you do find a buyer.

2. Compare prices in your neighborhood. You can do this step regardless of whether you have an appraisal. See what the current market conditions will support for your area. In some cases, you may be able to ask more than the property is actually worth, but you may run into trouble when the buyer's bank has to finance the property. The best rule of thumb is to stick pretty close to the actual value of the home and the surrounding homes. If you undercut them, you could be destroying your own market.

3. Go online. There are numerous free tools online that will give you a good idea of the value of your home. is one of the more popular resources for home values. Please keep in mind however that they may not be completely accurate. In some cases, they have been in error by as much as 40%, but you can still use the service to some degree when you're finding out the value of your home.

These three steps are all very easy to take and will help you arrive at a price for your home based on its actual value. How much you ask for the property is entirely up to you. If you own it free and clear and do not need to pay off a mortgage, you'll have more room to drop the price if the home does not sell. It's a good idea to start off a little high to give yourself some negotiating room.


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