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Calculating The Fair Market Value of Homes For Sale by Andrew Stratton

Calculating The Fair Market Value of Homes For Sale by
Article Posted: 02/16/2015
Article Views: 68
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 696
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Calculating The Fair Market Value of Homes For Sale

Because all house valuation methods offer no more than an estimate, you will never capture your house's price to an exact penny. As such, your best bet is to take a few guesses and average them to obtain a reasonable figure. Here are a few methods you can use to get a general idea of your house's value.

Locate Your Tax Bill

Take a look at your latest property tax bill. Most cities and counties list an assessed value for your house and property. While this is not exactly how much the house would be worth on the market, there is a method for figuring out what the worth is. Simply locate your assessment rate. From there, it is quite simple to figure out the real value.

Property taxes in most areas are based upon an assessment that is approximately eighty to ninety percent of the property's fair market value. Using the most recent property tax assessment and assessment rate, you can calculate the fair market value. For example, if the property is assessed at $160,000, and the assessment rate is eighty percent, than the fair market value of the property is $200,000.

Hire An Independent Appraiser

If you are looking for accuracy, it is always best to hire an independent appraiser. Appraisals made by companies suggested by or affiliated with your mortgage lender are not always dependable. After the burst of the housing bubble, banks are still rightfully fearful of getting burned.

Most borrowers will agree that bank appraisers lack the ability to determine the value of property, since many now owe more than the house was said to be worth. Therefore, spending a little extra for an independent appraisal is a better way to properly gauge value.

Frequent Open Houses

Attending local open houses can give you a rough idea of the going rate per square foot in your area. You can also compare the condition of homes for sale in your neighborhood with your own house to see how much that may factor into cost. If you see different houses in various states of wear, it is easy to see how much the condition impacts the property's worth.

Peruse Internet Listings

There are several online sources and websites that contain pretty accurate home assessment data. There are commercial sites that list homes for sale and also give detailed information about the square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Some of these websites have calculators where you can input your house's particular statistics (like zip code and date of construction) and it will give you an approximate figure of how much it should be sold for.

County and city websites also provide specific, detailed information about property, such as the history, last sales price, and layout of houses. This is part of the public record.

Ask Realtors

Different realtors have been known to come up with drastically different estimates on the same property. That is why experts say that homes for sale should be appraised by at least three different realtors before they are put on the market.

Do keep in mind, however, that realtors work a commission basis, and it is unfair of you to ask for their help without compensating them appropriately for their time.

Use Comparables

Try to make a list of neighborhood properties that sold in the last year or less. Make sure you have all the correct addresses and call the town or county recorder's office to see what each house sold for. This information is part of the public record, so it should be easily accessed. Many times, banks will use comparable properties when assessing homes for sale, so it is not an uncommon practice.

If you utilized many of these methods, you should now have several different valuations. You should not pick and choose which estimate is more appealing, but shoot more for a number that is in the middle. Once you find the average price point, you should have a reasonably good idea of how to price your property.

When looking for Staten Island homes for sale, potential home buyers visit Our Island Real Estate. Learn more about our services at

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