Home Evaluation

1. Start with online valuation tools

Online home value calculators use the information you provide about your home, along with information gleaned from public records, to calculate an estimated value of the property. They’re a simple and convenient way to get a ballpark idea of what your home might be worth. For example, PennyMac’s value estimator takes the address of your home and returns an estimate of the overall value, price per square foot, property details, sales history, and value history.

2. Work with a realtor

Realtors have their own techniques for determining a home’s value, and it can be helpful to get a second opinion to go along with the estimates from an online valuation tool. The process many realtors use to estimate a home’s value is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

3. Hire a professional appraiser

When someone’s buying a home, the bank requires them to get an appraisal at some point before underwriting of the loan can be completed. As the seller, you’re not required to get an appraisal but it may be a good idea if you don’t want there to be any second-guessing about your home’s value when you’re ready to list. It’s the appraiser’s job to provide an impartial, thoroughly researched estimate of a home’s value. They do that by visiting the property and reviewing recently sold or pending sale comps.

4. Analyze your own comps

You might not have access to the MLS, but you can still use some of the same factors to compare your house to similar ones selling in your area, including:

  • Structural components and features
  • Age and size
  • Sales history
  • Any upgrades or improvements
  • Overall condition of the home
  • Neighborhood and location
  • Listing price vs. actual sale price