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Home valuations give you valuable knowledge that can help you plan for the future and make smart decisions. It’s good practice to stay informed about how much equity you have in your home and how much you may be able to borrow against it or sell it for.
Our tool provides a more robust, accurate assessment than you’ll get from the major real estate portals. For the most precise valuation, reach out to discuss a customized Comparative Market Analysis or an appraisal.
A home valuation determines the current market value of a residential property. It is crucial for real estate transactions, preventing excessive borrowing and financial losses. When getting a mortgage, the home acts as collateral. If the borrower defaults, the lender may sell the property to recover funds. A thorough home valuation safeguards the lender's ability to recover costs if the mortgage is not fully repaid.
The value of your home is calculated using a combination of factors including its location, age, size, condition, any improvements or renovations made, and recent sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood. It also factors in current market trends and local market conditions. The valuation tool is dynamic and can be influenced by data such as inventory trends, interest rates, and current buyer sentiment.
Online home valuations provide a good starting point and offer a general estimate of your property’s worth. However, they may not factor in recent renovations, unique features, historical value, architectural significance, and subjective market perception that could impact your home’s actual market value. For the most accurate assessment, consider scheduling an in-person appraisal.
Two Accurate Ways to Perform Home Valuations
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a tool used by real estate agents to value a home. It evaluates similar homes that have recently sold in the same area. Agents find comparable sales and use them to conduct a sales comparison. In most cases, an agent will find three homes that have recently sold and are as similar to and located as close to the home being valued as possible. Each one is then analyzed to pinpoint differences between it and the home being valued. Once these differences are priced out, the price of each comp is adjusted to see what it would cost if it was identical to the home being valued were it to be sold in the current market.
An appraisal is an unbiased valuation of a home based on a professional’s opinion. They are usually what mortgage companies use for home purchases and refinances. A lender usually orders a home appraisal and the cost of the appraisal, sometimes up to $500, is paid by the homeowner. An appraiser does a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home as well as taking into consideration recent sales of similar properties and market trends. The appraiser then compiles a detailed report on the home, including an exterior building sketch, a street map showing the home and any comparable sales, photos of the home and street, an explanation of how the square footage was calculated, and any other relevant information.
Situations When a Home Valuation May Be Necessary
Lenders base the amount of their loans on the value of your property and usually allow you to borrow a maximum of 75% to 96.5% against your property. Knowing what your home is worth allows lenders to calculate your equity in the home. The more equity you have, the better terms you will receive on your refinance.
If you’re doing home improvement projects to increase the resale value, you want to make sure you’re not pricing it out of the market. If your home is already priced on the high-end for your neighborhood, making too many improvements could make it more difficult to sell. When you get a valuation, you can see how your home compares with others in the neighborhood and let this guide your home improvement decisions.
QUALIFYING FOR CREDIT
If you want to borrow cash against your home, getting a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) could be a good option. To qualify, you must have a certain level of equity in your home. Most lenders require at least 20%. Getting a home valuation will help you determine if you qualify and will be used by the lender to make a decision on your loan.
Though it’s not a necessity, simply knowing the value of your home is good information to have. It will help you plan for the future and deal with unforeseen circumstances when you might be in a position that requires extra money or a quick relocation. Knowing how much equity you have in your home and how much you may be able to borrow against it or sell it for will help you respond to any financial curveballs that life throws at you.
The test of a great real estate agent is not whether she/he can sell your house in a strong market but how she/he navigates a soft market. I had an older home that needed some work in order to be market-ready. Leslie is the real deal in every aspect of the real estate journey. (1) Helping to determine the listing price and knowing when to adjust (2) Connecting to a network of resources to quickly address some of the issues that were surfaced along the way (contractors, tree removal services, electricians, painters, you name it). (3) Negotiating the sale price and the inevitable back and forth. Her expertise and understanding of the market, responsiv...— Susan
Leslie is an extremely competent and respected agent. In what continues to be a challenging market environment, she was able to guide us through an emotional and stressful process with thoughtful expert advice on everything from how often to host open houses, to what we did and did not need to do in order to prep our home for sale, to appropriate/realistic pricing. She is a skilled negotiator and doesn't stop working for you when the inevitable setbacks occur during the sale process. As a family of six, with four young children, Leslie was always very respectful of our time and schedules when it came to showing our home. It is in difficult markets s...— Craig & Caroline
As first time home buyers, we had a lot to learn. Jeannette guided us through the process and answered all of our questions with patience. She was very knowledgeable of the area and even gave us a tour as we were coming from NYC. Jeannette was skilled in negotiations during closing and kept us realistic and managed our expectations. She went above and beyond and promptly answered emails and phone calls. Further, Jeannette was able to provide multiple recommendations for other services that are necessary for the home buying process. Overall, I am incredibly grateful for Jeannette, if it wasn't for her we would not be in our dream home! I cannot recom...— Kate
Working with Leslie Clarke was the best experience imaginable. She completely deserves her reputation as one of the top REALTORS in the Westport/Fairfield County area. Her advice and knowledge were impeccable, helping us to sell our house quickly for a good price in a very difficult market. She was phenomenal to interact with, readily available .helping us to get substantial discounts on services to prepare the house for sale, and going the extra mile on virtually everything. She is an absolutely lovely person, very steady, consistent and reliable. I honestly feel we could not have found a better REALTOR.— Laurie & Michelle
Leslie, hands down, is the best real estate agent in Fairfield County. We have used her as a buyer's and seller's agent (twice). Leslie shines when it comes to selling a house. With her interior design background, she will make the house look perfect before putting it on the market. She sold both of our homes within a couple of months of listing, and always responded to my emails/calls immediately (even on vacation). Most importantly, she is honest. She will not try to sell you something that she does not feel is a good fit. We love Leslie and will definitely use her again in the future!— Jessica
Throughout the sales process - from start to several excellent offers within a couple of weeks - Leslie was outstanding. She is extremely smart and resourceful - bringing in a world-class stager with just a few days notice and helping to make decisions on fast basic home improvements with great ROI so our home was truly like new for sale. On the buy side, Leslie made sure we got the home we wanted and coordinated the sell/buy process seamlessly - she worked incredibly hard to make our move easy. We recommend Leslie Clarke Homes to everyone who is serious about selling or buying a home!— Lisa & Mark
I wanted to thank you for the professionalism, care, and calm that you brought to the sale of our house. You patiently went about developing a solid marketing strategy and executing it with intelligence and vigor. From the many open house events to tactical placement on social media, recommendations on local workmen and reliable sources, we greatly benefited from the buzz in the market and found our buyers. Thank you again for your guidance and all of the extras that you provided.— George
Our house went on the market in an offseason and about 3 months later it was sold. We were very impressed with how quickly she could navigate the demands of buyer and seller and help each party come to an agreement. Leslie is responsive, sensible, practical, and very friendly - all important qualities to negotiate and close a sale quickly! We highly recommend Leslie Clarke to anyone wanting to list or buy a house in Fairfield County.— Ann & Howard
It was truly a pleasure working with Leslie to purchase our beautiful new home. Her background in home design and construction as well as her deep knowledge about the community proved to be a tremendous asset to us every step of the way. Even now, a year after the sale, we still turn to her for advice. She is honest, forthright, and as good-natured as they come. We feel so fortunate that she answered the phone that day.— Jen & Chris
Leslie was a real asset to our home search. She is responsive & tech-savvy, which was important to me. She was always completely honest and quickly grasped what we were looking for. She was also very helpful during negotiations and very knowledgeable with other aspects of the search such as location, schools, build quality, access, etc. I can't imagine working with anyone else than Leslie in Westport!— Natacha
Leslie is by far the best REALTOR we've ever worked with on the buy-side and on the sell-side. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, wonderful to work with - we recommend her highly. She was able to work magic in a challenging market when we sold (inside of 2 weeks, thanks to Leslie!) and helped us find the home of our dreams, even though we weren't sure at all what we wanted at the start.— Mash
I met Leslie through a mutual friend and chose her after interviewing four local agents. She is so vibrant, upfront, and honest. She staged my home, brought in a magnificent photographer, and created a brochure. It was a hands-free process. Selling my home and finding my new pied-a-terre took over a year, and Leslie made it happen without causing me to lose control of my life.— Jan
Leslie is in a class of her own. As a design expert and a top-notch negotiator she is perfectly suited for bringing all the elements of a real estate transaction together. She is a true advocate for her clients. Leslie guided us through finding exactly what we wanted, knowing what could be done to make it fit our taste. I would recommend Leslie as a gem and a true find.— Rishon & Nancy
Thanks for your guidance and general good humor. Working with you reminded me how important a person's measure is for an efficient (and pleasant) working relationship. Bill and I sliced and diced everything, but when you said we didn't need to worry about some language or action, we didn't. That calm we never could have achieved without you.— Tom & Bill
Leslie was a joy to work with. She patiently worked with my wife and me to explore a countless number of houses in different parts of Westport as we planned a move out from NYC. When it came time to close a deal, we always felt she was on our side pushing to represent our best interests all throughout the process. We would highly recommend.— Jory & Alexis
Jeanette is a wonderful broker. She helped my husband and I see homes that weren't on the MLS and made the process very easy. She was always readily available to answer questions or show us homes. She also has a great understanding of the town and gave us great insight into the right neighborhoods for our family.— Rebekah
Leslie is amazing! Great knowledge of the town, especially helpful for parents with children. She has a great knowledge of current and prospective inventory. She also knows the town builders and architects very well in case you want to tear down or start from scratch. I can't recommend her enough!— Justin
Leslie is a savvy real estate agent who knows the Westport/Weston market very well. She listens to and understands the unique tastes of each client. She was very professional and patient during our buying process and always accessible. We highly recommend Leslie for your real estate needs.— Murat & Deniz
Leslie was amazing on the buy-side and the sell-side. She advised us on pricing and staging for the sale of our house - we had an excepted offer within 6 weeks. On the buy-side, she was extremely helpful when we bought a house that was under construction. We highly recommend Leslie!— Lori
Leslie is top-notch. While Raveis is a top-notch firm, after interviews with 4 other top brokers it was Leslie we hired. Her professionalism, market perspective, and demeanor stood out from the other highly qualified agents that we interviewed.— Rob & Allison
Leslie is a rock star! She did three key things: 1) Priced us appropriately, 2) Staged/Photographed the house beautifully, 3) Personally attended all first showings to build relationships with both our potential buyers and their agents.— David
We've worked with a lot of brokers in town and I have never witnessed someone more dedicated to their career. Leslie was professional, creative, honest, and on top of her game at all times. Leslie was a true joy to work with.— Susie & Scott
Thanks, Leslie! You're a great agent! We went round and round for a while and ended up exactly where we were supposed to be. I guess you have to go through the exercise to know when something is the right choice.— Paige & Ted
It was truly a pleasure to work with you. You made what can be a very stressful transaction feel like smooth sailing from start to finish. You are a pro in every possible way. Thank you for everything!— Mackenzie & Andy
We can't thank you enough for all your help in finding our new house! You were absolutely the best professional, knowledgeable, available, and just fun to work with!— The Green Family
Thank you, Leslie, for expertly and calmly shepherding us through this transaction. I really appreciate your helping out with the remodel too! You are amazing.— Sara & Mike