How Much Is My House Worth? A Beginner's Guide | Bankrate (2024)

While the past few years have been a roller coaster ride on many fronts, there was a silver lining for homeowners: Home prices have risen considerably. You might be wondering if you should take advantage of the climb in values and sell your home or tap its newfound equity. As you consider your options, a good starting point is to ask yourself: Exactly how much is my house worth?

How much is my house worth?

When getting a home value estimate, consider the three main types of valuation:

  • Fair market value: Fair market value encompasses what your home looks like to prospective buyers compared to other homes in the area. Consider the sale price of a home that’s similar to yours (same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage or outdoor space, say). If you work with a real estate agent to help you sell your home, this is where your agent will start: by looking at comps to gauge what buyers have been willing to pay for a property comparable to yours.
  • Appraised value: While the appraised value of your home factors in comps, it differs from fair market value. To calculate appraised value, a licensed appraiser considers the location, size and condition of your home, and any renovations you’ve completed. The appraised value is what mortgage lenders look at when a borrower buys a home or refinances their mortgage.
  • Assessed value: The assessed value is the assigned dollar value of your home used by local county tax assessors to determine property taxes. “Tax assessors calculate assessed value based on various factors, which may include the appraised value and the fair market value, as well as any home improvements, whether you generate income from the property, and any tax exemptions,” explains Jade Lee-Duffy, a Realtor with Reali in San Diego. Usually, the assessed value is lower than fair market value and doesn’t actually represent how much a property could sell for, Lee-Duffy says.

Bankrate insight

While an online home value estimator can be helpful in getting a sense of what your house is worth, the number you see is only a starting point, not the final word.

5 ways to find out what your house is worth

1. Enter your address into a home value estimator

  • Best for: Sellers, buyers or anyone curious about the ballpark value of a home

There are loads of online tools that offer a quick home value estimate. These online tools — called automated valuation models, or AVMs — use algorithms and publicly available data, such as recent sales, tax assessments and other public records, to generate an estimate.

There are many home value estimators out there, each using a different methodology, so your estimate can vary. These include:

“Home value estimators are good starting points to assess the value of your home very quickly,” Lee-Duffy says. “However, this value is based on an algorithm that usually takes into account the number of bedrooms, square footage, location and market activity. It doesn’t take into consideration factors such as recent upgrades, condition of the house, curb appeal and external factors, such as traffic noise.”

In addition to an online estimator tool, you might choose to obtain a cash offer from an iBuyer.

“Both a home value estimator and an iBuyer company provide sellers with some idea of what their home is worth,” explains Arlene Reed, an agent with Coldwell Banker Warburg Realty in New York City, but “the information from both is frequently inaccurate. The home value estimator tells you what your home is worth, while the iBuyer company offers to buy your home at what they estimate it’s worth.”

  • Pro: The algorithms that power online estimators and iBuyer offers have come a long way. Now used by millions, they can be simple ways to get a fast ballpark estimate (or offer) just by typing in an address.
  • Con: Take these computer-generated estimates with a grain of salt. They may sometimes be based on incomplete or erroneous data, or may not take into consideration a recent high-end kitchen renovation or bathroom addition, for example. If you obtained an offer from Offerpad, Opendoor, or another iBuyer, here’s how to tell if the offer is fair

2. Ask an agent for a free comparative market analysis

  • Best for: Those who are selling or considering selling a home

Real estate agents typically offer a comparative market analysis (CMA) for free in hopes of winning your business if you’re selling your house. To complete the CMA, the agent pulls data about recent sales of comps in the area. They then draw on their knowledge of the neighborhood and any special characteristics of your property to estimate its value. A buyer’s agent may also provide this same service for any home a buyer wants to make an offer on.

“A good agent will have the tools necessary to drill down and find an accurate market value,” says Robert Krasow, a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company in Sarasota, Florida. “An experienced professional follows the market, looks at home conditions and knows the neighborhood — all while making determinations using both data and their expertise.”

  • Pro: It’s helpful to have an expert identify comps, answer questions and give guidance.
  • Con: Different real estate agents may use different comps or have conflicting opinions of your home’s value. In addition, if there haven’t been many sales in the neighborhood or the comps are not that similar to your property, the estimate won’t be as accurate.

3. Check your county or municipal auditor’s website

  • Best for: Those who want to understand their home’s value from a tax perspective

County auditors periodically assess the value of residential properties for property tax purposes, and this information is searchable online. You can look up the assessed value of your house to see if it has appreciated, or compare the figures with other homes for sale.

  • Pro: This objective data is easily accessible and provides another point of comparison.
  • Con: This estimate is for the taxable value of your home and may not reflect some of the market factors that affect the sales price, such as time of year, competitiveness or curb appeal. In some localities, assessed values may be far off from market values.

4. Identify trends with the FHFA House Price Index calculator

  • Best for: Those who want to understand property price trends in their area over time

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index (HPI) calculator offers yet another take on home value. The tool analyzes historical mortgage data to project what homes in your state or metropolitan area are likely to be worth based on the rate of appreciation of all homes in the area over a given period.

  • Pro: The calculator draws on data from tens of millions of home sales and offers insights about broad house price fluctuations, so homeowners can compare the relative affordability of neighborhoods over a period of time.
  • Con: This calculator doesn’t estimate the market value of a particular house. Instead, it offers a look at home price appreciation or depreciation over time. While this will give you a general idea of the local market, it won’t drill down into the specifics of your property.

5. Hire a professional appraiser

  • Best for: Those who want the most professional and accurate home value estimate, and may want to use the data as they consult with a mortgage lender

Mortgage lenders hire appraisers to confirm the value of a house before approving a loan. Some home sellers choose to take the extra step of hiring an appraiser, but it’s not required. The appraiser considers the characteristics of the property, such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, as well as comps, similar to a CMA prepared by a real estate agent.

  • Pro: Professional appraisers are typically licensed or certified by the state they work in and can provide an objective opinion of the value of a home.
  • Con: If you’re seeking a mortgage, you’ll have to pay for the appraisal the lender orders. An appraisal costs an average of about $350, but can be anywhere from roughly $313 to $420, according to HomeAdvisor.

My home’s value went up. What should I do?

Your home’s value can rise due to a range of factors. Home prices have increased in many places recently due to a shortage of supply. Prices were also boosted recently by some of the lowest mortgage rates in history. Those rates have since increased, but prices remain high. If your home value has increased, you have a few options and considerations to make:

  1. You might be able to save money by eliminating private mortgage insurance. If you’re paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI) and your home’s value has gone up to the point where you now have at least 20 percent equity, you can ask your lender to cancel your PMI premiums.
  2. You might need to adjust your homeowners insurance policy. Your homeowners insurance cost and coverage are typically based on your home’s value. If it has increased, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully protected. “It’s important to review your property’s value with your insurance agent yearly to make sure your residence has the proper insurance coverage,” says Kimberly Smith of Garnet Property Group in Bristol, Connecticut.
  3. You might be in a better position to improve your home. With more equity in the property, you can take advantage of a home equity loan or cash-out refinance and invest in a renovation or remodeling project. “Determining a home’s valuation is useful if you’re considering tapping into your home’s equity in the form of a home equity loan, home equity line of credit or cash-out refinance, so that you know how much equity you’ve accrued,” Smith says.
  4. You might consider selling your home. You could stand to profit if your home’s value has gone up considerably. But before putting it on the market, carefully evaluate whether it really is the right time to move for you or your family, whether you’ll be able to find a new home quickly and how you’ll pay for it. “If it is a good time, making minor repairs and decluttering your property is always going to help increase the final sale price,” Lee-Duffy says.

My home’s value went down. What should I do?

While home values across the board have increased, there could be factors beyond the homeowner’s control that can cause prices to decline.

“Local political issues, climate changes, transportation and employment opportunities — or lack of these last two things — can influence home values,” says Gerard Splendore, an agent with Coldwell Banker Warburg Realty in New York City. “Selling may not be a good idea, unless it is apparent that values will continue to decrease.”

If you can wait out a downturn rather than making a rash decision, that may be best.

“Home property values are typically influenced by the current economic climate, as well as the supply of houses on the market, which will change over time,” Lee-Duffy says. “If you can prolong moving, housing prices will eventually start to rebound.”

What factors affect home value?

A number of factors can affect the value of your home, including:

  • The neighborhood
  • The home’s age
  • Its condition
  • Its size
  • Any home improvements or upgrades

There are other factors that impact property values overall, too. These include the local housing market, economy, interest rates and tax rates, Reed says.

How often should I check my home’s value?

While you don’t need to revisit your home’s value too often, checking on it periodically, such as once a year, is a smart move for several reasons. Knowing the current value of your home allows you to determine, for example, whether your homeowners insurance policy still adequately covers the property.

“The value of your home also affects your taxes,” Reed says. “You might be able to lower your assessment.”

It can also be helpful to know the value of your home so you know how much equity you’ve accumulated, which could allow you to qualify for a home equity loan or line of credit, or cash-out refinance.

Of course, knowing the value of your home is very important if you’re considering selling. You’ll know where you stand with buyers, and what you could potentially take home after the costs of the transaction and taxes.

How can I add value to my home?

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and this bit of wisdom can apply to your home and its value.

“Your property’s curb appeal does make a difference,” Lee-Duffy says. “Make your home welcoming and tidy — cut your grass, trim any shrubs and add some new plants or flowers.” A fresh coat of paint either on the interior or exterior of the house will more than pay you back for the money spent, she adds: “This is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve value.”

A minor bathroom or kitchen update (as opposed to large-scale renovations) can also help improve your home’s resale value. You can simply replace an outdated sink, old tiles or dated light fixtures to give these spaces a refresh.

Bottom line

No single home valuation method is guaranteed to be 100-percent accurate. That’s why using a combination of resources can help give you a more informed perspective of what your home is worth. For example, you might get a free CMA and conduct your own research using an online home value estimator, as well as the FHFA calculator and county auditor’s website. Averaging together all the final values you gather could give you a more accurate picture of your home’s value.

Ultimately, however, the most reliable home value estimates come from professionals who take the time to carefully assess your property based on a variety of factors. “All of the evaluation tools are useful in giving an idea of the worth of your home, but an appraiser and/or an experienced agent will be the most accurate sources for determining value,” Krasow says. “A trained professional will have an advantage, as a computer cannot determine intrinsic value or consider the condition and improvements you’ve made to your home.”

How Much Is My House Worth? A Beginner's Guide | Bankrate (2024)


How do I work out what my house is worth? ›

In this guide:
  1. Find houses that sold near you.
  2. Look at price trends by your area and nationally.
  3. Use a house value calculator.
  4. Get an estate agent to value your house.
  5. Look at local asking prices.
  6. Consider what influences your house value.
8 Jun 2022

What is the most accurate home value estimator? ›

The most accurate home value estimator is Redfin as it uses historical pricing data and also considers real-time demand and market trends. Redfin estimates are more accurate than Zillow and the interface is intuitive making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

How do you know if a house is a good flip? ›

When buying a home to flip, investors need to estimate how much they think the property could sell for after it's been renovated. They can then multiply that amount by 70% and subtract it from the estimated cost of renovating the property.

What do you call someone who flips houses? ›

A flipper house is a home that a real estate investor, known as a "flipper," buys in its original condition at as low a price as possible. The flipper does not intend to live in it; they want to renovate and then quickly sell, or "flip," it to a new buyer at a profit.

How accurate is Zoopla estimate? ›

Are Zoopla estimates accurate? No, Zoopla estimates are not accurate. As with all online valuations they are only an estimate. If you live somewhere with lots of recent sales data then you'll get a better more accurate figure, but your best bet is always to get an in persion valuation from at least 3 estate agents.

Can you get a house valuation without selling? ›

You can also check out online estate agencies – some offer a valuation in return for your details. Another idea, suggested by Perry, is to take a leaf out of the estate agent's book and try to work off a similar square footage.

Are Zillow estimates 2022 accurate? ›

Zillow's Zestimate has been found to have a nationwide error rate of 1.9 percent for on-market homes. When it comes to estimating home values for off-market housing, the error rate jumps to 6.9 percent. Overall, the accuracy of Zestimate is approximately 4 to 5 percent.

Is Zillow accurate for home values? ›

For most major markets, the Zestimate for on-market homes is within 10% of the final sale price more than 95% of the time. The nationwide median error rate for the Zestimate for on-market homes is 1.9%, while the Zestimate for off-market homes has a median error rate of 6.9%.

Which is more accurate Zillow or realtor? ›

A Realtor estimate, or a Comparative Market Analysis, should be more accurate and more detailed than an online valuation tool like a Zestimate. There are several reasons for this. First, real estate agents who know a particular area will be intimately familiar with the comparable sales.

What is it called when you buy a house and fix it up? ›

Share: It's no secret that buying a house is an expensive ordeal. However, if you're willing to put the work in, you could purchase what's known as a “fixer-upper” at below market price. This type of home buying is a serious investment, though, so make sure you're committed before going through with the purchase.

What is it called when you fix up a house and sell it? ›

Selling a home as is means you're not responsible for repairing any issues that pop up after buyers submit their offer. That could range from minor issues like a leak in the roof to major problems like a cracked foundation. As-is homes are often known as fixer-uppers.

What is it called when you buy houses and sell it for more? ›

Flipping (also called wholesale real estate investing) is a type of real estate investment strategy in which an investor purchases a property not to use, but with the intention of selling it for a profit.

Is Flipping houses still profitable 2022? ›

On average nationwide, house flipping generated a gross profit of $65,000 in 2021, on par with gross profit in 2017. But return on investment has shrunk to 31% from 51% over the same period. Gross flipping profit rose to $67,000 in the first quarter of 2022 but return on investment continued to decline to just 26%.

What is Micro flipping? ›

What Is Micro-Flipping? Micro-flipping is a type of short-term real estate investment that involves buying properties in need of renovations and reselling them quickly for a profit, usually without improvements.

What is the most accurate home value website UK? ›

Here's our top 10 list of free online property valuation tools (UK) you can use to get an accurate home valuation.
  1. YOPA. ...
  2. Zoopla. ...
  3. Rightmove. ...
  4. ...
  5. Mouseprice. ...
  6. Land Registry (for Wales and England) ...
  7. Register of Scotland (for Scotland) ...
  8. Nationwide.

Which is better Zoopla or Rightmove? ›

Rightmove is typically the best for traffic with around 127.5 million visits per month. This is significantly higher than Zoopla's average of 60 million.

How do you increase your house value on Zoopla? ›

  1. A loft conversion, off-street parking and a kitchen redesign are thought to add the most value to a home.
  2. Check your home's current value so you can understand which improvements will get the best return on investment.
  3. Research local house prices to see what buyers will pay more for in a house like yours.
26 May 2022

How often should you get your house valued? ›

"We all know getting your home valued at different points in your life is important- especially if you're trying to sell or planning to sell in the future, but most people don't realise you need to re-value every 6 months or so to really reap the benefits."

How do I value my home without an estate agent? ›

How to sell your house without an estate agent
  1. Make sure your property is fit to sell. When it comes to viewings, first impressions really are everything. ...
  2. Set a realistic asking price. ...
  3. Advertise your property properly. ...
  4. Host friendly and informative viewings. ...
  5. Don't be Afraid to Negotiate.
24 Jan 2022

Are property valuations free? ›

Most commonly, real estate agents provide a free property valuation to appeal to potential clients and get you to sell/buy with them. So, if your realtor wants to charge you for this process, you might want to hire a different agency.

How do I find out how much my house is worth UK? ›

Land Registry is your go-to online database for house prices in the UK. It's an alternative way to find out the price tag on your home. Whether you want to have a house valuation for a mortgage, insurance, or you are just interested in how long you need to save to afford a particular home, Land Registry can be of help.

What price is stamp duty? ›

If you're a first-time buyer, you won't pay stamp duty on the first £425,000 of your property's value. This means that if your property costs less than £425,000, you will not have to pay any stamp duty. If your property costs between £425,001 and £625,000, you'll have to pay a rate of 5% for the remaining part.

Are house prices going to drop UK? ›

It said house prices will have risen 6 per cent by the end of 2022 but that they will fall 5 per cent in 2023 and a further 5 per cent in 2024 as a result of the sudden spike in mortgage rates caused by the government's fiscal plans. This would take house prices back to where they were last summer.

How does a remortgage work? ›

Remortgaging is when you move your mortgage on your existing property, from one lender to another. Your new mortgage will then replace your old one. You may want to remortgage if you're: coming to the end of your existing mortgage rate.

What does the term freehold mean? ›

Freehold is a type of property ownership, where a person or organisation has outright ownership, forever, of a property and the land on which it is built. Leasehold is a form of property ownership where a property is leased from a freeholder.

What is a maisonette? ›

A maisonette is defined as a two-storey flat with your own front door. This means you can directly exit your home to the outside world instead of sharing a corridor with other people in your block. Maisonettes are also referred to as 'duplexes,' which is their American title.

What are the stamp duty rates 2022? ›

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax paid by the buyer of a UK residential property when the purchase price exceeds £250,000. The stamp duty rate ranges from 5% to 12% of the purchase price, depending upon the value of the property bought, the purchase date and whether you are a multiple home owner.

How can you avoid stamp duty? ›

Six ways to legitimately avoid stamp duty
  1. Haggle on the property price. The amount you are charged in stamp duty depends on a number of factors, including: ...
  2. Transfer a property. ...
  3. Buy out your ex. ...
  4. Claim back stamp duty. ...
  5. Pay for fixtures and fittings separately. ...
  6. Build your own.

Do I have to pay stamp duty if I sell my house and buy another? ›

It is always the home buyer who pays stamp duty, not the seller. Usually, your solicitor will pay it on your behalf as part of the purchase process.

Should I buy a house now or wait until 2022 UK? ›

In fact, most house price indexes predict a small increase — up to 5% — over the course of the year. Due primarily to the pandemic and its impact on the economy and household finances, the outlook for the UK housing market in 2022 remains uncertain.

Are houses overpriced right now UK? ›

Average prices have now reached record levels in England, Wales and Scotland, according to the Office for National Statistics. The average UK house price was £292,000 in July 2022, the ONS found, a staggering £39,000 higher than at the same time last year.

Should I sell my house in 2022 UK? ›

House price growth has been ongoing during the pandemic, and it shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. For this reason, 2022 could be a great time to sell your home. In fact, it may be wise to sell before house prices inevitably drop, interest rates rise or buyer demand wanes.

Does your house get revalued when you remortgage? ›

A remortgage valuation gives you an indication of your home's current market value. Once you start the remortgaging process, your lender will then do their own desk based or physical property valuation so that they can calculate your loan to value (LTV).

How do you pull equity out of your house? ›

If you know the amount, consider getting a home equity loan or doing a cash-out refinance. If you're working on a project that has ongoing costs, a HELOC would be best. That way, you could borrow more money if the project goes over budget.

Can you get refused a remortgage? ›

If you've been declined a remortgage, it doesn't mean you don't have options. Every mortgage lender has different criteria they use to decide if they're willing to lend to you or not. Just because one lender has said 'No', doesn't mean all lenders will. Our Mortgage Experts have seen it all and aren't judgemental.

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