So Don, what’s my house worth?

Except for the Don part every boots on the ground realtor hears this question all the time. It’s a simple question, seemingly, but the answers are numerous and varied. In reality the question itself is flawed. A better question is “How does one determine the value of their home?”

One bad way to start is to do a simple Google search of your address. Most times the first thing that pops up is the Zestimate by that Z company. They rely on algorithms. Really.

I like to throw darts but when I do I’d rather not be blindfolded.

Nonetheless, most homeowners start here. My suggestion is don’t stop here.

Another option is to pay for a certified appraisal. You will likely spend anywhere from $300-$600 for this. If you want to get the very best get an appraisal from an MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute). Most likely you will spend $1,000. You will, however, have a very well researched appraisal.

Any experienced local broker can do a market analysis gratis. He or she will provide you with three or four recent comparable sales…..closed properties similar to yours in terms of size, room count and location. Obviously he or she will also want to list your house should you be inclined to sell.

At the end of it all, your home is worth what a qualified buyer is willing to pay you in an arms-length transaction. And…what the lender says it’s worth!

There. Now you know.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.