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16 May Property Value: How Much Is Your House Worth?

When it comes to selling a house, setting the right price is critical. Set a price too high, and a house can sit on the market for ages. Set it too low and you can easily lose out on thousands of dollars. Pricing is an art, not a science. There’s a lot to consider in pricing your home.

Here are just 3 things to keep in mind:

1. Location

There’s a reason why you hear “location, location, location” so often in conversation about real estate. The location is top-of-mind when potential buyers evaluate houses. Things like schools, community services, recreational facilities and (especially) nearby property value are important factors in the property valuation process.

Unlike some measurements of home value like square footage, room count, and building materials, a location’s value can be hard to pinpoint. Although certain things like comparable sales (comps) can be determined precisely, there’s no real number associated the emotional appeal of a particular community. Some neighborhoods are trendier than others. This kind of intangible value must be considered in a property valuation. So when it comes to location, think about what’s easily numbered:

  • Comparable sales (“comps”): What have other, similar homes in the area sold for?
  • House size: How many square feet? How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Land: How much land does the property include?
  • Commute time: How many minutes to your workplace? (For example, how many minutes to downtown St. Louis?)

As well as what’s not:

  • Neighborhood desirability: Ask yourself: “How is the neighborhood described in the media?” Different sorts of neighborhoods (e.g. “trendy,” “up-and-coming,” “developing”) can demand different price points.
  • Recreational amenities:Are there parks nearby? What about walking trails, lakes or nature preserves? All of these amenities can boost a home’s value.
  • Community services: Easy access to community services like schools (especially highly rated ones) and hospitals can increase the value of your home.


2. Budget-friendly Improvements

You can often significantly increase your home’s sale price simply by making a few budget-friendly improvements. A few common improvements that can earn you more money without breaking the bank include:

  • Granite countertops: Buyers are looking for granite. Upgrades like granite countertops don’t take much time and often pay off with a higher sale price.
  • Double pane windows: Today’s homebuyer is much more interested in cost-saving energy efficiency. Installing double pane windows is just one way to better market your home and increase its value.
  • New appliances: Old appliances don’t exactly inspire a vote of confidence from potential home buyers. Consider upgrading that old refrigerator or washer with a new model. You don’t need to buy the “latest and greatest” either. Even simple upgrades can help justify a higher sale price.

3. Age and Condition

Regardless of the materials, the age and condition of a house will definitely affect what buyers are willing to pay. Do you watch HGTV? There’s a reason why so many house hunters say they’re looking for a home that’s “move-in ready.” Typically, buyers aren’t eager to take on extensive remodeling projects immediately after purchase.

The age and style of your home are related, and style often affects your home’s value. Popular home styles like Craftsman, Country, and Traditional can justify a higher asking price while less popular styles won’t benefit your bottom line. Condition counts, too. You can’t change the year your house was built, but you can make sure it’s in condition to demand a higher list price. Consider investing in some budget-friendly improvements (see #2) in order to make sure that your home shows well.

Want more? Check out this related post: “7 Ways to Boost Home Value: Realtor Secrets Revealed.”

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