Certainly, paying a professional to conduct an appraisal is the best way to go about calculating the true value of your house. But you may not be at that point yet, and so the expense wouldn’t be justified. Maybe you’re just now in the early stages of thinking about selling your house. In that case, there are still some things you can do on your own to arrive at a pretty good idea of the value of your house.
Use an Appraiser’s Eye
It helps to understand the criteria appraisers use to determine the fair market value of a house. Primarily, they look at the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, total inside square footage, lot size, the age of the property, HVAC system, and overall condition. Other chief considerations are the location-related matters like crime rate, local amenities, and access to transportation. Using an appraiser’s eye for calculating the true value of your house is a good way to start.
Look at Neighboring Sales
Next, just as an agent would in running comps, take a look at comparable home sales in the neighborhood. There a number of online resources you can use to check the sale prices of comparable houses with respect to size, age, number of rooms, construction type, and features. In addition, you’ll want to consider only homes that have sold within the last few months.
Determine the PPSF
Another good tactic for calculating the true value of your house is to try to determine the price per square foot (PPSF). This, too, involves comparing your house to similar houses that have sold in the neighborhood.
So when doing your own comparable market analysis, be sure to note the square footage of the houses you’re considering. Then divide the sale price of the house by total square footage to arrive at the PPSF. The next step is to add up the several PPSFs you’ve calculated and then divide by the total number of PPSFs you added together, which will yield the average PPSF. All you have to do then id multiply the square footage of your house by that average PPSF. You will then have a general idea or your house’s fair market value.
Consider Special Features/Qualities
But in calculating the true value of your house don’t neglect to take into consideration the special features and qualities your house may possess. These can sometimes increase the value significantly (or, in some cases, lower it).
You will certainly want to take into account any recent upgrades – for example, new tiles and fixtures in the bathroom, new appliances in the kitchen, a new roof, or new siding. Or if your house has a large screened-in deck or is close to a good school, these features can add to the value. The comparable value analysis and the average PPSF are just starting points or base prices. Be sure to consider as well what your house has to offer beyond the mere basics in comparable houses.
And then there’s the other side of the coin, too. If your house isn’t in as good a shape as those you’re comparing against, it will be worthless. So be sure to be brutally honest with yourself.
These are all good tactics for calculating the true value of your house. Of course, you could always have a real estate agent do a comparable market analysis, but you can get fairly close to that on your own.