If you’re looking to sell your home, or you’re considering buying property yourself, you’ve already noticed that these are interesting times for the housing market. In many parts of the country, houses of all sizes and styles are selling like Cabbage Patch dolls or Tickle-Me Elmos, with buyers over-bidding one another and sellers looking on in bewildered joy. All property seems to be hot property right now.
But do prices always reflect true long-term values?
Getting Accurate Real Estate Values
When it comes to buying or selling a home, you want something a little more accurate than “yeah, but my cousin Jake sold his for” Even if you’re considering making an offer above the asking price, or you expect multiple bids the day you list, wouldn’t you like as much information as possible before beginning?
No two homes are exactly the same. No two markets are the same – from neighborhood to neighborhood or even from day to day. For the kind of money involved, guesswork isn’t good enough. Accuracy matters when assessing the value of any home.
What About Those Fun Websites?
You’ve probably visited those whole life insurance comparison that let you look at pictures of homes on the market. Sometimes you can see the insides or even get “virtual tours.”
There’s nothing wrong with these sites. They’re fun and informational to an extent. But they rely on estimates and budget management. They take limited information about a property and any transactions which have occurred with similar homes nearby and produce a guesstimate. They simply do it with style.
Lots of style.
Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent uses “comparables” to come up with starting values for any home. They look at the features of the property, then look for similar properties in the area which have been sold recently. Using these figures and their own expertise, they calculate an estimated dollar amount.
One you make an offer, however, or accept an offer someone has made you, you’ll notice that everything changes. Lenders are not interested in online estimates or even the opinions of experienced real estate agents. If they’re going to fund a thirty-year mortgage for $100,000 or more, they want accurate real estate values – period personal liability home insurance.
They hire a certified appraiser.
What An Appraiser Does
The appraiser starts with all the same information your agent has already considered. They then examine the neighborhood and the surrounding area in detail for everything from nearby schools and shopping to the upkeep of the public parks. They walk the property in question, analyzing each room and feature in detail. Some elements add a few dollars; others subtract. Age matters, as is condition, and design choices – every square foot, every creak, every ooh-ahh moment.
Appraisers have no financial interest in the results. They have no motivation to nudge the numbers one way or the other. Their job is to be specific and accurate, and most are very good at it. Only when they’re ready do you have the officially assessed value of a house.
Your Personal Home Appraiser
We’ve duplicated this process for you with something we call AccūRATE® from Accury.com. AccūRATE® takes the same detailed appraisal information lenders demand and makes it available on your phone or other connected device. It not only gives you the most accurate home appraisal value available, but lets you zoom in on specifically why that value is what it is.
That means better information before buying, selling, or even remodeling. If you want to buy, you can buy. If you decide to sell, you should sell. But take a few extra moments to make sure you’re not giving up more than necessary in the emotions of the moment.
We’re big believers that most of us can take more effective control of our finances if we simply have access to the right information and opportunities. AccūRATE® is a big part of that when buying or selling a home.
Find out more about this and other real estate insights for regular folks at Accury. Then let us know how we can help.
Interesting related article: “What is an Appraisal Fee?“