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how do you figure out how much your home is worth

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March 26 2009 - US
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Ask around and find a recommendation for a realtor in your area. Ask them to do a market analysis for you. it will give you information about what your house is worth today.

kathy
temecula, Ca.
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March 28 2009
If you don't want to pay an appraiser or talk to a realtor, go to your assessors office . Pull you field card and read your current assessed value.   Then go through the public records to check properties sold in the past 3 months. Don't go any further back as values change fast.  You know your town / city. Look for solds in the same neighborhood , same type of style ,size , age , amentities, etc..   Your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it at the current moment.
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March 27 2009

There are few good rule of thumbs to follow.

1. When selecting comparable properties be sure that they are similar in square footage. Basements don't count (you can use a finished or part finished basement as a benefit of purchase, but not for sqft comparisons [at least in CT].)
2. When comparing prices be sure you're looking at the SOLD price and not the LISTED price.
3. Typically, I use a list of values (NAR published a method also) to adjust the price of the comparable property with my subject property. Ex: New Roof = $2,000 to $3,000 -/+  depending on the area. Now, you add or subtract the adjusted amount of money to the "Sold" price of your comparable. This helps to "level the playing field" so to speak. For example. Your house has a new roof and the guy down the block has a similar property but his roof is older, maybe 10 years(ish). Well, that house sold for 200,000 last week...so you'll add the adjustment for a new roof to his sale and you have a listing price of 203,000... It can seem a bit confusing but once you think it though, it works. A Realtor is the best bet to get a good estimate. Obviously the replies from pervious comments hold true, you can't compare your property to a property that sold 2 years ago because of changing market conditions. And an appraiser can cost.

Now be careful when doing this comparative method because you could go overboard on the adjustments... adjust for only "Big Ticket" Items...roof, mechanicals, updated kitchen, additions...etc.

Hope this is helpful!

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March 27 2009
CMA's can be done by agents.

I would just call an agent and get them to pull comps out of MLS for you.   Even if you plan on doing a for sale by owner, most agents just want to help people.   Of course we need people to do business with us to make a living, I think most REALTORS are like me, they enjoy helping people.
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March 27 2009
Personally I think this can be more than an either or issuse. Yes an apprasial will cost you. This will run about $350 in the two area I am familiar with and likely willbe more in other areas. The biggest issue with appraisals is understanding what is in the multi-page document. You'd be surpirsed how many agents cannot fully grasp all the intircacies in an appraisal. What an appraisal won't do is give you a number that another appraisal for perhaps a loan will give you. A CMA on the other hand is simpler and generally offers close to the same result. but it too can have the same inconsitencies. There is also the inherent possibility that the CMA is produced to "get the listing" and falsely impress you.

If there have been many sales in your area that could be used as comparabele (yes, even in this market) you are not likely to get them all into play.

Both methods are subject to another miscalculation. If you have quality granite&cabinets, neither method may have access to the comparables at it's disposal and like other examples could sway the numbers several thousand dollars either way.

I suggest both methods if possible with one more element. Go look at comparable homes that are for sale. Sure you will incovenience some people. So what. This will give you a clearer snapshot of your competition, allow you to observe staging methods and ultimately price accordingly.
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March 27 2009
You can always get your home appraised,though its not a free service.Best bet is to contact an agent in your area for a CMA.They will compare your home to the homes that have actually "Sold" within the past 6 months.You cannot go by what is currently listed on the market.A good agent will be able to properly compare your home to the homes in your area.Square footage,type of home,amount of rooms,bedrooms ,additions,upgrades and so on are taken into consideration .
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March 26 2009
You will need to compare your property withhtose that have recently sold close by you. Go to your county website and search for homes of similar square footage in your specific neighborhood.  You will see the range of prices and place your house somewhere in that range based on condition and improvements and updates.  There is a little skill invlolved.  And you may need to go by these recently sold properties and possibly ask questions of the owners to really know how they compared to yours.  Or, have a successful agent in your area do the work for you since they will already have alot of information in their MLS data base to go on..
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March 26 2009
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multisanti

You can either pay for an appraisal that should be unbiased and accurate from a licensed appraiser or go the CMA agent route. It can also be accurate in many cases and it's free. There's information on this in both of the blogs attached to the links below. I kind of like the one on choosing an agent better (top one) as it's a little more detailed, but if you're considering doing a FSBO, you should probably read the second one as well.

Agent interview info.

FSBO info
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March 26 2009
 
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