Chris  Schmidt
Chris Schmidt

House Values | How Much Is My House Worth? 

house value - how much is my house worth?

Determining house values in today’s market can seem like a daunting task, especially when you are trying to sell your home. With housing prices fluctuating and online valuation tools giving different estimates, how do you confidently land on a number? This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to find your house’s true market value.

We’ll cover key factors that influence value, popular online valuation tools, hiring a professional appraiser, working with a real estate agent, and steps you can take to potentially increase value. Read on to get the insights you need to price your house right in your local real estate market.

Key Takeaways:

  • House value  is primarily based on recent sales of comparable properties in your area along with property-specific factors like size, condition, and upgrades.
  • Online valuation tools can provide a ballpark estimate but local real estate professionals will be more accurate. 
  • Professional appraisers comprehensively evaluate your house’s value but hiring one costs $300-$600 on average.
  • What is the difference between an assessed value and market value?
  • Real estate agents have in-depth knowledge of the local market and recent sales to help accurately price your house.

What is a House’s Value?

A house’s value is the amount a ready, willing, and able buyer would reasonably pay for it in its current condition on the open real estate market. This market value is primarily based on the following factors:

  • Location:  The neighborhood, proximity to amenities, school district, and overall area.
  • Size and Layout:  Square footage, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, functional layout.
  • Condition and Age:  Quality of systems, finishes, how updated/maintained it is, building age.
  • Features and Upgrades:  Garage, pool, finished basement, renovated kitchen, etc.
  • Comparable Sales:  What similar properties have recently sold for.

What Are Appraised Value, Estimators, and Market Value?

There are a few common terms used when discussing a house’s valuation:

Appraised Value:  A licensed professional’s opinion of the house’s market value based on an inspection and analysis of comparable sales. Used for financing.

Online Estimators:  Automated algorithms like Zillow Zestimates that provide a ballpark figure using public data. Less accurate.

Market Value:  The true price a house would sell for on the open real estate market currently. Based on recent sales.

Assessed Value: In Texas, a property’s assessed value is determined by the county appraisal district. Appraisers look at your home’s attributes like square footage, age, condition, and amenities. They also consider sales prices of comparable properties in your neighborhood. Based on this data, the appraisal district assigns an assessed value to your home for property tax purposes.

How Do I Determine How Much My House Is Worth in Houston?

For an accurate view of what your house value is in Houston’s local real estate market, consider:

  • Researching recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood and area using sites like Redfin and Look at houses with similar square footage, beds/baths, age, and condition that have sold in the last 1-3 months.
  • Using trusted online valuation tools like Redfin Estimate as a starting point. But take these estimates with a grain of salt and don’t rely on them solely.
  • Hiring a professional appraiser to thoroughly inspect and evaluate your house based on their expertise. Average cost is $300-$600.
  • Consulting experienced Houston real estate agents who can provide a comparative market analysis based on their extensive knowledge and access to the latest sales data.

What Should I Know About Houston’s Market Conditions?

When pricing your house, it’s critical to understand Houston metro’s current real estate market conditions. Key stats to analyze:

– Houston house values are up 12.6% year-over-year as of August, selling for a median price of $493K.

– Housing inventory is extremely low at just 1.9 months supply currently. A balanced market has 6 months supply. 

– Days on market average just 25 days.

– 94.5% of Houston listings are selling above list price in this competitive seller’s market.  

This data indicates house values are rising rapidly while supply is low and demand is high. Sellers have significant pricing power.

Are Online House Valuation Tools and Websites Accurate?

Online house valuation tools like Zillow and Redfin provide automated value estimates using public data on your house and others that have sold recently. They can give you a general ballpark figure, but have some limitations:

Pros:  Fast, free, easy to use. Good starting point.

Cons:  Don’t factor in all details that determine value. Often differ significantly from actual selling prices.

Tips for using online tools:

Check multiple sites for a range.

Input details like upgrades, condition, garage, pool, etc.

Take estimates as ballpark figures, not definitive appraisals.

Verify against recents sales prices in your neighborhood.

How Accurate Are Zillow Zestimates?

Zillow Zestimates give you a quick headline number but aren’t always precise. According to Zillow, Zestimates are within 5% of the final sale price about 63% of the time. However, they have a median error rate of 5.9%.

Relying solely on Zestimates is risky. Zillow doesn’t visually inspect each house and lacks insight into specific features, upgrades, and condition. Always verify its estimates against actual comparable sales listed by local real estate agents.

Which House Value Estimator is Most Accurate?

For the most accurate automated valuation, real estate sites like Redfin may have an edge over mass-appeal portals like Zillow. Redfin combines public data with its own in-depth listing research and localized data. However, no online estimator should replace a CMA from an experienced local real estate agent.

Do I Need to Hire a Professional Appraiser?

While not required, hiring an appraiser can be worth the $300-$600 cost to get an objective assessment. Appraisers are licensed professionals who conduct thorough interior and exterior inspections measuring and assessing every aspect of the property. 

The appraisal report will detail their valuation methodology, comparisons to recent sales, and the final appraised value. Appraisals are commonly used by lenders to approve mortgages, ensuring the house’s value justifies the loan amount.

Is Fair Market Value the Same as an Appraisal?

Fair market value or FMV represents what a given property would sell for under normal circumstances. The goal of an appraisal is to provide an impartial, data-driven opinion of a house’s fair market value. So while the two terms are different, a high-quality appraisal will approximate fair market value.

What is the Difference Between an Assessed Value and Market Value?

Assessed value is determined by the county tax assessor based on your home’s attributes and comparable sales data, while market value reflects what buyers are currently willing to pay in today’s housing market based on demand, inventory, and market conditions. The key difference is that assessed value lags behind and may not match up with your home’s value in the swiftly shifting real estate market.

How Much Are Houses Selling for in My Area?

To accurately gauge your house’s potential listing price, you need to know what comparable properties have sold for in your specific neighborhood recently. The best source for this sales data is a local real estate agent.

For example, here are some average sold prices from August:

– 3 bd, 2 ba, 1800 sqft – Sold for $540,000

– 4 bd, 3 ba, 2500 sqft – Sold for $685,000  

– 5 bd, 3 ba, 3000 sqft – Sold for $790,000

These numbers give you an idea of typical sales prices based on size and features. Your real estate agent can provide this level of hyperlocal insight.

Should I Hire a Real Estate Agent? 

Partnering with a local real estate agent is highly recommended for accurately determining your house’s market value. Seasoned agents combine:

  • Instant access to the latest comparable sales data that isn’t publicly listed.
  • Intimate neighborhood and market knowledge to fine-tune pricing.
  • Selling expertise to guide pricing strategy for maximum marketability.

Consult experienced agents who can pull comps and provide a Comparative Market Analysis on your house’s value. Come armed with questions about recent sales activity, average days on market, and competitive advantages for your house.

What Factors Impact House Value?

While location is critical, your house’s specific attributes play a major role as well. Assess each aspect to understand their value impact:

Size – Bigger houses with more beds/baths tend to be worth more. Smaller ones may need price adjustments.

Condition – Poorly maintained houses or outdated finishes can decrease value. Remodels and updates can boost it. 

Age – Newer houses often command higher prices. Very old houses may need extensive repairs or upgrades to maximize value.

Features – Items like pools, multiple garages, basements, and bonus rooms add desirability that directly translates to dollars.

What Else Should I Know About Improving My House Value?

If your goal is to maximize your house’s valuation before selling, here are tips to potentially increase marketability and value:

  • Make cosmetic improvements and better the curb appeal with things like new exterior paint, landscaping, and minor kitchen/bath updates.
  • Consider renovating outdated spaces like kitchens and bathrooms within your budget.
  • Clean and declutter your house to emphasize open space and flow.
  • Accentuate exterior amenities like patios, pools, outdoor kitchens.

Staying informed about local market trends and guidance from real estate professionals can help you prioritize projects with the highest return on investment.

Can a Houston Realtor® Find My House Value? 

As leading Houston real estate agents, we have the market insights, data, and expertise to provide houseowners like you with an accurate assessment of your property’s current value. 

Connecting with us ensures you receive:

  • A customized Comparative Market Analysis pulling the latest comparable sales.
  • Precise pricing recommendations based on current market conditions. 
  • Guidance on how to prepare your house to maximize marketability and achieve top dollar.

We’re here to provide the clarity and confidence you need to price your Houston house right. Let’s connect to discuss your house’s value today!

To Discuss Your Home Sale or Purchase, Call or Text Today and Start Packing!