Home Resale Value

    The best way to determine home resale value is to consider a range of professional opinions and combine those with your own gathered research. This is one instance when a CMA can prove more effective than a full-scale appraisal, which may set you back as much as a thousand dollars. If you've worked closely with a realtor in the past, he or she may even be willing to give you a CMA free of charge (especially if that agent suspects you'll use him or her again when it comes to buy and sell).

    Once you've obtained your CMA, go through its contents closely and consider the data being conveyed. Pay particular attention to the recent sales activity in your neighborhood and don't forget to analyze the time taken for each home to sell. Just because a dozen houses hit the market in the past year doesn't make your neighborhood a hot one; it might mean that residents are eager to leave!

    Additional Steps in Calculating Home Resale Value

    Once you've spent time reviewing your CMA, you might want to enlist agents that you know to provide you with second, third, and even fourth opinions. Your true home resale value probably lies somewhere in the middle of all these estimates, as they represent a range of opinion, not incontrovertible fact. It's tempting to view your home's value toward the upper end of that scale, but you must realize this is a natural bias. All homeowners have the same inclination, and your tendency as a buyer will naturally be different.

    It's also key to remember that home resale values are elastic, and that larger economic forces constantly impact the real estate market. It may be that you've not only maintained your home and complied with all neighborhood, city, and statewide regulations, but built real value as well through additions and upgrades. Nevertheless, if the economy's in the doldrums, don't expect to see your hard work pay off--at least not in the present climate, which, of course, is likely to swing the other way if given enough time.