Are you wondering “how much is my house worth?” I have two answers for you. First, if you don’t really need to move, it is worth whatever you say it is. If you think, “I wouldn’t sell this house for less than $300,000,” then it is worth that much to you. If you “need” to sell it, though, what it is worth to you is truly irrelevant.
Market value is the only relevant value once you are ready to sell. This is the value according to all the home buyers out there. They don’t care what you spent on renovating the house, or what you originally paid. Spend $50,000 adding a pool, and they may only pay $20,000 more for the home. Real estate is worth what the market says it is worth.
To estimate the market value of your home, use “comparables.” Appraisers will usually go back as far as six months, sometimes more if there are few comps. Find at least three similar homes nearby that have sold within the last six or maybe twelve months (these are your comparables) house value. This information is in county records (sometimes online now), or ask a real estate agent with access to the multiple listing service. Get the sales prices, terms of sale, description of the property, and other information.
Whether you are selling because of need or want, you should always have a reputable San Antonio REALTOR working for your best interest. REALTORS have the ability to access the multiple listing service (MLS) and can access comparables and evaluate these homes with you to determine a fair Market price and help ensure you get the best price. Remember, a REALTOR is not providing you with an actual appraisal; this is simply used to determine a market price. Once a contract is in effect, the buyer’s bank will likely request an appraisal to ensure the home is worth what the contract was negotiated for since the bank wants to protect its assets.
When in doubt, you may wish to consider paying for an appraisal before listing your San Antonio home for sale. This will help alleviate any concerns about whether you have the home listed at a fair market price and will give you a solid negotiating arm in the event the buyer feels the home is not worth the market price.
If a contract is negotiated, and the home appraises for less than the contract price, the parties may return to the negotiating table. If the appraisal done was for an FHA buyer, please know that this appraisal will stay with the property for a period of 6 months. If the seller entertains another FHA offer, the previous appraisal may come back to haunt you.
The important thing to remember is that whether your sales price was determined by comparables with a REALTOR, or by an independent appraiser, a sale will occur only when both the buyer and seller agree to a sales price the individual parities are willing to accept.