To get a true value of what your property is currently worth, your best option would be to order an appraisal. If you cannot afford an appraisal (usually costs about $250-400), there are several sites online that can give an estimate of what your home is worth. Keep in mind that these sites will only give an estimate based off the amount that homes are selling for in your particular area. Any upgrades and/or home improvements you have done will not be accommodated using this method.
To do this you will be required to hire a professional home appraiser to come visit your home and do the evaluation in person. The appraiser will evaluate the condition of the property, do a room-by-room inspection, and also account for any upgrades and home improvements that have been done to the property.
For an appraisal you should have your home in the same condition as if you preparing for a buyer's visit. Keep in mind that most factors that appraiser's look at cannot be changed including the size of the home, location of the property, number of rooms and baths, comparable sale prices in your area, etc.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your home is prepared for the appraisal:
- Make sure the house is very clean
- Repair anything noticeable that needs to be fixed
- Touch up paint that is chipping off or fading away around the house
- Do as many updates as possible, but make sure not to spend too much money
By doing all these things you will give the appraiser a good first impression when entering the home which is very important.
Once the evaluation is completed you will receive an appraiser's report. This report will help you determine how much equity you have in the home for a possible refinance, or even help you figure out an initial asking price when trying to sell your home.