Selling Tip #2 How Much Is My Home Worth
How much is my home worth? It is one of the first questions home owners address when they are getting ready to list their home for sale. One of the first things most of us do is go to Zillow.com on the Internet and look up their home on the Zillow database. There, for God and all the world to see, is a Zestimate declaring the value of your home is $000,000 or whatever. Boom – finished. My home must be , at least, $000,000, because Zillow has it valued at that figure. I must list my home for sale at the Zestimate price, or higher, because anything less would be leaving money on the table.
Then you talk to your cousin Cindy who takes an immense amount of pleasure in explaining to you that Zillow is not all that. Yup – the Zestimate number – is almost 100% likely to be wrong. She read on The Skimm that the Zestimate is a computer calculation that does not take in to account school attendance boundaries, condition of the properties, upgrades made by the owner etc. You might as well have asked the yard man to give you a valuation of your home.
No problemo. Being the resourceful person you are. You recall that the tax bill had an appraisal number on it. Dang you paid a lot of real estate taxes last year. Anyway, I will dig out my tax bill and see what the County / City tax appraisal was for my home. There it is, at least $20,000 more than my Zestimate. I will use that number as the list price for my home.
Then, while floating on cloud nine at the mere thought of banking that list price number, you take a look at an article on Realtor.com that talks about pricing your home. Dang Jena, even the tax appraisal can’t be trusted. Apparently the County/City appraisals are not worth the paper they are written on. It turns out there is wide wariation in the way the square footage of your home is calculated. The square footage was not measured – it was estimated – from the builders permit. Lots of things have changed. The builder added on a room, you added on a room, you finished the basement, you finished the space over the garage, etc. So you know, you absolutely know, the square footage calculation of your house is wrong. And so the tax appraisal for my home is probably, also, almost surely……wrong.
How tha heck am I going to figure out how much my home is worth?
No problem. You can call that neighborhood real estate agent. You know, the one whose sign you see all the time when driving around the neighborhood. The agent who walks through almost every home that is sold in the neighborhood. The agent who sees lots of real appraisals where an actual licensed professional appraiser measures the dimensions of the home and looks at comparables – homes that have recently sold – to make her appraisal calculations. I am going to call a Realtor and ask how much my home is worth!
Call or text Sally English, 404.229.2995, Associate Broker at Realty Associates of Atlanta LLC.