Philadelphia home values vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the home, the condition of the neighborhood, the quality of the schools, and the crime rate. Many area residents have been in their homes for decades, yet they often do not have a good idea of their property’s current market value.
The market home value is the most a buyer in the market would be willing to pay for the home if it went up for sale today. For instance, if a buyer were to offer $200,000 for your house, and that was the highest offer received, that figure may be considered the market value. But if you are unsure whether you want to sell and prefer to estimate the value yourself, there are a few ways to arrive at a realistic number.
Look at Recent Home Sales
One of the best ways to estimate your home’s value is to look at recent home sales in your immediate area. Philadelphia neighborhoods are often made up of homes that are very similarly designed, such as rowhomes in South Philly and Victorian homes in Chestnut Hill. Find recent sales of homes in your neck of the woods that have the same or similar features as your own property, such as the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can check the “Recently Sold” section of your favorite local real esate website and look up your zip code, or you can ask your real estate agent to send you a report of recent sales in your area. Some sites even provide you with a custom estimate of what they believe your home may be worth based on public information.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent for His/Her Valuation
Real estate agents are experts at estimating the value of homes. Some of that expertise comes from being educated about the market, and some of it is instinct. Agents often view or show hundreds of homes in your area every month, so they have a good idea of the going rate for a home like yours. A qualified real estate agent can prepare a valuation report to give you a rough estimate of the value of your home.
If you want to know exactly what a bank and a prospective buyer will consider the true value of your home, you will need to hire a professional appraiser to do the valuation. Appraisers are licensed by the state and must abide by strict standards. Banks trust their word regarding the actual value of the home and will not lend money without their services. An appraiser will look at recent home sales and information about the community; he will also visit your home and go from room to room, which is what a prospective buyer would do before placing an offer.
After estimating your home value, you may find that it is worth even more than you expected. You may also find that making a few reasonable improvements and repairs could boost the value even more. Take the first step: Use the resources at your disposal to get a rough estimate of what you could get on the market to make more informed decisions about your home in the future.