What is your Home Worth?

By: Marie Delci

Property values are falling, balancing out an inflated market and getting a little more realistic. But this has some sellers worried. While they might not make as much money on a sale now as they would have a year or two ago, it doesn't mean the market is bottoming out. We still have a strong real estate market.

So what does a seller have to do to get the most for their home? How does one determine their home's worth? Frequently, a homeowner's emotional attachment to a home, not to mention their wishful thinking, makes them a poor judge of what their home is worth. That is why online appraisers have grown in popularity recently.

An online appraisal company uses mortgage loan origination systems to help them determine the value of a home. They access census data, tax assessments and previous sales information, as well as analyzing physical features such as the number of bedrooms, room sizes, lot size, year the home was built, and similar data to determine your home's accurate worth. Further, they access national real estate related websites to help them determine markets in specific areas. So if your home is small, but in a trendy area, that will all be taken into account.

One of the best things about an online appraisal system is it's convenient for you, no matter if you are buying or selling. All the data that the system collects is passed along to you, so you can keep it for your records, and see for yourself how exactly the value was assessed.

For sellers, this system allows you to fully understand what your home is worth, so no one can undervalue it. You won't be tempted by low-ball offers if you know your home's true value. Plus, electronic appraisal is far cheaper than hiring a local, traditional appraiser.

For buyers, it helps you know a deal when you see one, and not be caught up in someone's inflated idea of their home's value. It helps you keep your offers realistic. Plus, you get a long list of background information about the home, things you'd otherwise have to go to multiple sources to find out about.

For professionals in the banking or investment industry, an online appraisal tool is an asset because of its speed of delivery. Values can be understood quickly, and you aren't on anybody's waiting list.

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