Even though we've all heard—over and over—that home values have dropped over the last couple of years, research shows most of us still believe our homes are worth more than they are.
That's because we are emotionally and personally attached to our homes. Unfortunately, there is no magical home value formula that takes into account your special family memories.
The truth is, your home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Since you can't read a buyers' mind, you will need to do some homework before you price your home. Online home value estimates can be a good place to start, but often aren't specific enough to be accurate. You can also research listings in your local market and compare your home's size and features to houses already for sale.
But nothing will replace the accuracy of an experienced real estate agent or appraiser using standardized methods to determine a price you can reasonably expect to get for your home.
Find expert agents to help you sell your home.
With that said, assessing a home's value is still slightly more of an art than a science, so you should view an appraisal as an approximation rather than a guarantee. You could end up getting more or less than the appraisal amount.
The market will ultimately determine the value of your home. Your goal is to set the price as close as possible to that value without going over in order to minimize your time on the market.
Dave recommends a good real estate agent to help you do this. Agents have their finger on the pulse on the local market because they sell right in your neighborhood every day. An experienced real estate agent is the most likely professional to give you the best mix of data-related facts as well as subjective, gut-level estimations on what you your home will sell for on the open market. Get an agent now!