So if you can’t tell, I am not a fan of digital home eval tools. That’s right, take a hike algorithm!
As cool as it feels giving the proverbial middle finger to the worlds most popular RE search site, there is a true reason for a bit of my shade. Beyond making my job marginally more difficult, they also give people a number a majority of homeowners take to heart on their largest asset based off a calculation most 5th grade math students could accomplish (Avg $/sq ft for your zip code multiplied by your square footage).
Ok, so there’s the problem. Surely there’s a better way? Of course there is young grass hopper and this overly camera friendly agent is all to happy to explain (lets be honest you still need to read the text below the video).
All that to say, the true value of your home is whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it, but before you get close to listing, you probably want an idea of ‘what it’s worth’.
If attempting to do on your own, here’s how I do it:
1️⃣ Run ‘Sold’ for 6 (max 12) month period of your hood
2️⃣ Identify homes within 300 sf +/-
3️⃣ Identify homes built within +/- 5 years
**Hopefully you have about 5 homes or more to compare to. If you don’t, adjust above within reason
4️⃣ If you have enough homes within comps, add in exterior features like lot size and exterior finish (brick, hardi board, etc..)
5️⃣ Multiply the avg $/sq ft of these close comps by your SF. You should have a Fair Market Value within a certain margin of error
6️⃣ Be REALISTIC.
This last step requires some subjectivity. You’re going to look at the major components of house and compare a +/- of features, finishes and updates. Does a close comp have a screened in porch and you don't? ➖. Does your 1993 built home have a 2019 renovated kitchen that looks like a Pinterest board? ➕. Did you pay for the Pinterest board, but paid your nephews college roommate a case of PBR to install? ➖…. You get the point. Industry experts can help you with this portion through their knowledge, but there are sites/studies that can help with this bit of calculation.
Now that you have a barometer of Fair Market Value. While the above should cover a vast majority of you, there are (of course) exceptions. For the best analysis call your favorite local expert 😉… I bet theres a form to fill out or a number to call somewhere nearby…