How To Estimate Your Home’s Value?

The value of your home is a key consideration when you’re making plans to sell. Even if you’re not selling, a good home value estimate could help you get rid of private mortgage insurance (PMI) or apply for a refinance or home equity product.

There are a handful of ways you can find home value. Learn the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Key Takeaways

Why Your Home’s Value Matters?

The value of your home changes constantly depending on market conditions and buyer demand. If it’s been a while since you’ve done a home value estimate, it may be time to do one. Depending on what you want to do with your home or your mortgage loan, there are several good reasons to figure out how much your home is worth.


In some cases, it can be worth figuring out what your home is worth for your peace of mind. Maybe you’re casually thinking about one of the above actions but aren’t sure. Or you’re updating your net worth and want to get an idea of how much equity you have in the home.

How To Find Your Home’s Value?

Depending on your reason for finding your home value, there are a few different approaches you can take. Here’s what to know and how to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Online Valuation Tools

Online valuation tools like the Zillow Zestimate and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index can give you a general idea of what your home might be worth based on a few assumptions. 

Zillow comes up with an estimate based on a proprietary formula that uses public and user-submitted data. The FHFA, on the other hand, provides an estimate based on when you purchased the home and the average appreciation rate in your area between then and now.



Use Comparable Homes

A common way to estimate the market value of a home is using “comps,” or the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the area. For example, it may be reasonable that two homes with roughly the same square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other similar features would sell for about the same price. 

To perform a comp analysis, you can check out recent sales using a real estate website that shows multiple listing service (MLS) listings. It’s generally best to use at least three valid comps to get a good estimate.



Request a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

A comparative market analysis is similar to a DIY comp analysis, but instead doing it on your own, a real estate agent performs the analysis using multiple data points to pin down an accurate estimate. 



Get an Appraisal

An appraiser is a professional who will come to your home and provide a value based not only on comps but also the condition, features, upgrades, and other factors specific to your home. Lenders typically require an appraisal when you’re purchasing a home or requesting PMI removal. 


You’ll usually need an appraisal to refinance your mortgage. You may be able to waive an appraisal, however, if you have qualifying Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.1



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is an online home estimate accurate?

Online home estimates are as accurate as the data they use to calculate your home value. Because there are factors they don’t consider, they’re best used to get a ballpark idea of what your home is worth. That said, an online home estimate could be worth it at the beginning stages of a process, as it could help you know if you should move forward to an appraisal.

What’s the most accurate home valuation website?

In its analysis of the top home valuation sites, The Balance selected Redfin as the most accurate home valuation website. While its margin of error for off-market properties is slightly higher than Zillow’s (7.61% vs. 7.5%), Redfin’s estimates update data every day compared to Zillow’s “multiple times per week.”

How do you find the value of your land?

You can start by visiting the county assessor to view the assessment of your home and land separately. That won’t necessarily give you the most up-to-date value, though, especially if you’ve recently made improvements. Consider seeking the assistance of a real estate agent or an appraiser to get an idea of what your land is worth.

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