The first in a series.
It’s easy to find out how much money you have in a savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But, determining the dollar value of your home is trickier.
As a seller, knowing your home’s worth helps you price it correctly when you put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But, price it too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody wants that!). For buyers, it’s important to know a home’s worth before you make an offer. You want your offer to be competitive, but you don’t want to overpay.
Even if you’re not a buyer or seller right now, as a current homeowner you might just be curious about the value of your house.
The good news is as trained real estate agents — professionals who understand the nuances of Cape Cod and its many communities — we can determine the true market value of your property at no cost to you.
THE THREE TYPES OF HOME VALUES
When you start the process of buying or selling a home, you’ll frequently hear the terms appraised value, assessed value, and true market value. It’s important to know the difference between each one, so you can make better and more informed decisions.
A professional appraiser is in charge of determining the appraised value of a home. These appraisals are typically required by a lender when a buyer is financing the property. And while the lender is the one requiring this information, the appraiser does not work for the lender. Appraisers should be objective, licensed professionals, who don’t have allegiance to the buyer, seller, or lender—no matter who is paying their fees.
The number the appraiser calculates (the appraised value) assures the lender that the buyer is not overpaying for the property. For example, imagine a seller lists a home for $400,000. They reach a deal with the buyer to sell the home for $375,000. However, if an appraiser evaluates the property and determines that the appraised value is actually $325,000, then the lender will not lend for an amount higher than that appraised value of $325,000.
When determining total value, an appraiser will compare the property to similar homes in the neighborhood and evaluate factors such as location, square footage, appliances, upgrades, improvements, and the interior and exterior of the home.
The assessed value of a home is determined by the local tax assessor. This value matters when the community calculates property taxes each year. The lower your assessed value, the less property tax you’ll pay.
To determine this value, your assessor will evaluate what comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for, the size of your home, age, overall condition, and any improvements or upgrades that have been made. However, most assessors don’t have full access to your home, so their information is limited.
Assessments are done annually to determine how much property tax you owe. Many communities use a multiplier (typically between 60%-80%) to calculate the final assessed value. So, if the assessor determines that the value of the home is $300,000, but the local community uses a 70% multiplier, the assessed value of the home would be $210,000 for tax purposes.
True Market Value
True market value is established by your real estate agent. It basically refers to the value that a buyer is willing to pay for the property. As experienced real estate agents, we are experts in determining true market value, because we have direct experience buying and selling properties. We understand buyers’ mindsets and know what they’ll pay for a desirable house or condo.
As a seller, knowing your true market value is important, because it helps you choose how much to list your property for. It can also help you decide if you want to make any improvements to your home before putting it on the market. We can help you determine which updates and upgrades will have the biggest impact on your true market value.
Interested in knowing more? We’re always available to meet with you to discuss your options. Please contact us via the comment section or call 508-568-8191.
Next week: What’s up with those online calculators?
Wishing everyone a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day.
Mari and Hank