You’ve made the tough but exciting decision to sell your home and move to a brand new city. But now you’re wondering: what is the value of my home?
This is a question many homeowners have had to grapple with. You want to make sure you can sell your house for more than you paid for it. But how do you determine exactly what your house is worth?
There are ways to appraise the value of your home in its current state to see what it might be worth on the market. But there’s a lot you can do to increase its appeal as well. Keep reading to discover all the ins and outs of boosting your property value.
What the Value of Your Home Isn’t Based On
Unfortunately, many people overestimate the value of their homes. They usually base it on the following factors.
- Sentimental Value: just because you have ten years of memories in the house doesn’t mean it should sell at a higher price
- What You Think It’s Worth: you may love white appliances and popcorn ceilings, but that doesn’t mean those features will draw in buyers
- Your Mortgage Payment: usually, your current mortgage does not affect the value of your home
So what does influence the value of your home and how can you find out what it is?
What Determines the Value of a House
The property value of your home is based on a number of criteria. Typically, these fall into two categories. First, what buyers are looking for; second, how the housing market is doing in your area.
What Buyers Are Looking For
What buyers are looking for can vary over time, but a few things stay pretty consistent.
Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard this mantra before. Location is often one of the most important factors in determining whether a buyer will commit to a certain property.
Is the property close to the city center? Are there good shops and businesses nearby? What about the schools?
Most buyers will be looking for properties wherein they can easily commute to and from work. If they’re a young family, they’ll want to be in a good school district with lots of access to parks and amenities, too.
Safety ratings may also impact the value of your home. If you’re in a neighborhood that experiences a lot of crime, your property value may not be what you’re hoping for. Buyers want to make sure that they’re in a safe neighborhood, especially if they have young children.
Square footage plays a role in your home’s value depending on where you live. In the suburbs, where homes are often larger, high square footage may not drive up your home’s value. But low square footage may keep the value down.
In the city, properties with greater square footage are likely scarce. So a large place in an urban setting may sell for a better price.
Homes with balanced bed-to-bath ratios score higher values on the market. That means you should have at least one full bathroom for every two bedrooms. So, a four-bedroom house should have at least two bathrooms.
How the Market Impacts Property Value
It isn’t just your buyer who determines the value of your home. The housing market fluctuates, and that plays a role as well.
Time of Year
Different times of the year are more popular times to move. Families, in particular, may be hesitant to move at the start of the school year or around the holidays.
Expect there to be a greater demand in the early spring to summer months.
It’s simple supply and demand. If a lot of people are looking to move to your area (high demand), the market value of your home will increase.
However, this is true only if there aren’t a lot of properties currently for sale. If a lot of people are also moving out of your area, then a high demand for homes may not drive up prices. This is because there are plenty of houses to choose from (high supply).
Just remember that, as a seller, high demand and low supply will always work in your favor.
How to Determine Home Value
So how do you know what your house is worth? Using an online tool or your realtor’s expertise can help.
Online Evaluation Tools
Online evaluation tools can help you get a quick, simple sense of what your house may be worth. These tools may take into account your local market. More often, they focus on curb appeal, home features, and design trends.
Working With a Realtor
Working with a realtor will give you greater insight into how your house fits into the current market in your city. They can get you a professional property value estimate and suggest a competitive price to list at.
Ways You Can Improve Property Value
There’s a lot you can do to add value to your home. It helps to know what buyers in your area are looking for, which your realtor can help you determine. But here are a few extra tips to get you started.
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
A fresh coat of paint works wonders on even the oldest of homes. Opt to repaint if you have any signs of peeling or discoloration. And keep things simple.
You may have loved the bright red walls in your office, but consider repainting them to a more neutral color before showing your house. Clean, neutral shades will convey a sense of coherency and possibility to your potential buyers.
Another pro tip? Try white paint in rooms that are on the small side. Experts suggest that white paint can make a room seem bigger.
Appliances are a big selling point for buyers. Having updated appliances can increase the value of your home for two reasons.
One, new appliances can make up for an otherwise outdated home. Two, they let the buyer know that they won’t have to pay extra to upgrade the appliances after buying the home. In that sense, they’re getting better value for their money.
Bring in New Fixtures
Lighting makes a particularly big difference if you’re showing your home or uploading pictures to a website. It opens up a room and shows off its features.
Update light fixtures whenever possible and match them throughout the house. Other fixtures can increase property value, too. Think of adding a screen over your pool or installing solar panels with companies like https://blueravensolar.com/south-carolina/.
What Is the Value of My Home?
Now, when you ask, “what is the value of my home?” you’ll know how to find the answer. Don’t be discouraged if you think the features of your home will drive down its value. Your realtor can work with you to suggest manageable improvements you can make on your own.
For more on getting your house ready to sell, visit our home and real estate section.