The market determines the value of your house. If you’ve just purchased a house then it is worth what you paid for it. I love economics; it makes so much sense. But if you purchased your house four and a half years ago how do you know what its worth now, especially in these uncertain times? There are three ways;
1. Get a free estimate of your home’s value from a Realtor. Many of us are experts at pricing houses. We see a lot of houses. We have access to a lot of data. Most of us are happy to do it, especially if we think you’re going to be hiring us.
2. Banks and mortgage brokerages use appraisers. They don’t tend to use comparative market analysis like Realtors do. Theirs is more of a risk assessment valuation. Sometimes it is very close to the market value (and sometimes it isn’t). They charge a fee for this service.
3. Find out what houses are selling for in your neighborhood. Go to open houses. Get an idea of asking prices but don’t assume that the selling prices are the same as the asking prices (even if your neighbor tells you so). Ask your Realtor to send you a monthly neighborhood update. Most of us are happy to do this, especially if we think you’re going to be hiring us.