Thinking about selling your home? You’ve likely got a thousand questions swimming around in your head, but there’s one that tends to stick out in homeowners’ minds above the others: What’s my home worth? Your real estate agent will be your greatest resource in answering this question once you’ve decided you’re ready to sell your home, but knowing how to research home prices on your own beforehand will help to inform those conversations. Here are some of the ways you can make good use of your time before you put your home on the market.
What’s your home worth?
Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) are a great first step in understanding home value but aren’t nearly as comprehensive as your agent’s market analysis. They compare your home against other comparable listings in your area to estimate your home’s selling price. Windermere’s Home Worth Calculator evaluates your property and the surrounding market to give you an idea of what your home is worth.
How to Research Home Prices
Though AVMs help you research home prices, to say they’re 100% accurate is one of the most common myths of the selling process. To fully understand what your home is worth, you need a real estate agent’s expertise. They’ll conduct a comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to accurately and competitively price your home. An agent’s CMA compares your home to similar listings in your area, sifting through tons of data on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a huge network where agents can share information regarding available listings. Here, your agent can maximize the visibility of your listing and easily connect with buyer’s agents to start a conversation about buying your home.
Local Real Estate Market Conditions
Your local real estate market conditions should be a point of emphasis in your pre-selling research. Generally speaking, there are three types of markets you could be faced with as a seller: a seller’s market, a buyer’s market, and a balanced market. Each market will have different implications for how you and your agent approach negotiations, how you interpret buyers’ offers, and your philosophy regarding the terms of common real estate contingencies tied to different offers. And maybe of greatest relevance to you, knowing more about your local market conditions will help you understand a bit more about what price your home could sell for. To see the latest housing data on home prices, home sales, and more in your area, visit our Market Updates page:
Finding the Right Agent
Besides all the number-crunching, some of the most helpful research you can do on your own is finding the right real estate agent. Getting referrals from family members or friends is a great starting point, but it’s still worth it to make sure the agent is right for you. Yes, their business acumen should be a priority, but remember that you’ll be together through all the ups and downs of the selling process, so it’s just as important that you connect on a personal level as well. If you’re looking for an agent with a specific specialty, identify professionals that have the certifications and designations to match.