Every homeowner wants to know what their home is worth. Unfortunately, this frequently asked question can’t be responded to with a generalized answer. The good news? Finding out how much your home is worth is as simple as asking a local real estate agent.
The best way to find out the value of a house is by putting together a comparative market analysis. A CMA (as us agents lovingly refer to them as) is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes. It isn’t a crystal ball that determines exactly what a home will sell for, but assuming it’s prepared by a well-versed agent, it will narrow the sale price range. Then you and your agent can strategize and make an informed decision on what that “magic price” likely is.
Here are some of the aspects a CMA takes into account:
- style of house
- upgrades throughout the house
- square footage
- number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- kitchen and bathroom upgrades
- window quality
- age of the roof
- size of the lot
- traffic of the street it’s on
- type of flooring
- overall condition and cleanliness
Some aspects of a house just are what they are: the location, lot size, style of house…but there are ways to increase your home’s value. The items that produce the highest returns on investment are: minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades (new appliances, giving the cabinets a facelift and/or updating countertops) and anything improving the curb appeal of your house (exterior paint and landscaping).
The best investment you can make is on the condition of your house and regular home maintenance. If your carpet is heavily worn or damaged? Replace it. If your roof is on the verge of going out and/or it’s leaking? Fix it. These are big red flags to homebuyers and unless they are getting a great deal, 99% of buyers won’t want to mess with it, in turn driving down your home’s value.