If you are planning to sell your home one of the first questions you think of is, “How much is my home worth?” There are different ways to get a figure, but not all of them are equal. A full appraisal report completed by a certified appraiser is the most detailed and accurate way to get a clear value on your home. But these can cost several hundred dollars. It is not necessary to have an appraisal done until you have an offer on your property. When done as part of the selling process, an appraisal will give you the timeliest information on your home’s value. If you list your home in the spring but it doesn’t sell until the summer or fall, you could be looking at a significant price difference in appraisal values. It is better to save the extra cost of a second appraisal by getting an estimated value first to base your list price.
You can get an estimate for the value of your home at an algorithm based website, but this is not the best approach. Websites such as Zillow, which provide their “Zestimate” are lacking in one critical area. These reports rely on public data only. There is no critical thinking done by a professional to provide an in-depth understanding of the various ways a home’s value may be affected. With public data such as the square footage of a house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and recent sale prices in the neighborhood, you can get a ballpark idea of how much your home may be worth. But this can be more off the mark than you may realize. These types of estimates are done by an Automated Valuation Method, or AVM. There is a better method available however.
By working with a Realtor®, you can get what is known as a Broker Price Opinion, or BPO report, which are more often closer in price value to a full appraisal than an AVM. The key difference is our understanding of market trends and less tangible measurements of value such as remodeling projects and neighborhood improvements. An AVM report doesn’t take into account when a Trader Joe’s market is being built nearby, or the valuation difference between a Pergo® floor versus an oak one. An AVM won’t include the value of a built-in closet system. A Realtor® will. To get a more accurate estimate on the value of your home, you need the human touch that brings knowledge and experience to work for you.
Before you are ready to sell your home, an AVM report can give you a starting point to consider. When it is time to sell your home, getting a BPO report from your Realtor® will give you a clearer picture of your home’s value. When you are ready to sell or buy a home, we at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.