A big question many home owners have (even if they aren’t planning on selling soon), is “What is the value of my home?”  There are several sources that can give you information, so let’s look at some of these options and how to get the correct value for your home.

Option 1 – Tax Auditor

In Ohio, auditors are required to do a reappraisal every 6 years on valuation of homes.  This is a review of sales history of an area for every home.  This does not include any viewing of the interior of homes, upgrades, maintenance etc. that home owner may have done.  This is also adjusted with credits for living in and owning the home.  Most of us would like this number to be LOW since this is the basis for our taxes and they are typically lower than the home value.

Option 2 – Zillow/Zestimate

This option is touted very highly and indicates that they look at all sales that have occurred in an area and the property is valued based on this information.  Zillow does not enter any homes (or view any pictures).  This valuation is all done by a computer and estimated based on the millions (according to Zillow) of criteria they use to get their Zestimate.  This is not typically an accurate estimate of your home value.  For example, one client sent me the Zestimate for their condo – I didn’t think it looked right so we pulled sales history for the client and showed them the REAL value – Zillow had it $100k over value.  From what we could tell the system had pulled in some homes close by and used that info in their averaging.  Because Zillow doesn’t see what type of homes they are including in their Zestimate (or whether they were distressed or very updated) this is probably not a valid estimate of your home value.

Option 3 – “What I heard my neighbor got for his home”

Many times we get input about what someone heard a home sold for close-by. Sometimes this can be misleading if the seller tells you (or you have seen) what the home was LISTED for originally without sharing price adjustments or the actual negotiated SALES price.  You can find out via the County Auditor after the sale happens the exact price, but most people don’t look back and see this information.  In addition, home sizes and amenities in neighborhoods can be very different.

Option 4 – “This is how much money I’ve put into my home”

Unfortunately, this does not always influence what your home is worth.  A home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to spend – the market dictates the value of your home, not the money you have spent maintaining or updating the home.  So in valuation of a home, we need to look at the home as it stands now and how that compares to other like sales.

Option 5 – Appraisal

This option will cost you between $300-$600 to pay a appraiser to come, review your home, review sales history, write a report and give you a value.  This is an accurate option and a good way to get the value of your home.  The drawback is the upfront cost to have it done.   

Option 6 – Have a Realtor (Mike and Lorie Strange) give you a valuation

This option is very similar to having an appraisal done on your home.  We will also come and view your home, look at sales history, review features/amenities that your home has and compare with similar homes.  We have possibly been in homes in your neighborhood and have personal information – if not, we look at all the photos of the homes we are comparing to get the best idea of the condition of homes in your neighborhood. With all this information we can then run comparable sales and come up with a value of your current home.  Note this is NOT just a calculation, but involves the expertise of a Realtor who is in this market daily.  This is a free service that we can provide even if you aren’t getting ready to list your home.

So there you have your options.  In addition to Option 6, when listing with us we also provide a stager to help you get your home in the best selling condition.  Taking the advice of a stager to get your home ready not only helps you sell you home quicker, it can help in increase the value of your home.

Hope all this helps and if you have any questions, please call Mike and Lorie Strange at 614-361-8853.