How Much is My House Worth Calculator
Online tools, such as “how much is my house worth” calculators, can be useful to homeowners who want to determine the fair market value of their homes.
Determining the market value of your home is a crucial step in preparing to list it. While hiring a professional appraiser is the fastest and easiest way to do this, it’s also an added expense. You can figure out the market value yourself, with a considerable amount of research. Or, for a quick ballpark estimate, there are online “how much is my house worth” calculator tools that are specific to Canada.
Why Knowing Your Home’s Market Value is Key to a Successful Sale
The listing price of a home is one of the most important factors in the sale. At the right price, every home will sell. In order to determine the listing price, it’s important to first determine the home’s fair market value.
Fair Market Value
According to a piece by Robert McTague at Inman, market value is:
an opinion of what a property would sell for in a competitive market based on the features and benefits of that property (the value), the overall real estate market, supply and demand, and what other similar properties have sold for in the same condition.
However, because so many variables are involved, it can be difficult for private home sellers, without a real estate background, to objectively determine the fair market value of their own homes. Added to that, a private seller might overestimate the value of their home because:
- They may feel sentimentality for the property, which makes it feel worth more than it actually is.
- They may have overvalued improvements that don’t actually add value to the property. For example, a recent reno might not be as appealing to potential buyers as it is to the owner.
- They may not have all the data they need to calculate the market value, or that data may be faulty. For example, if other homes recently sold in your neighbourhood are heritage homes, and yours is an infill home, the market value of your house will be significantly different.
Despite the difficulties in doing so, it’s crucial to establish the fair market value of your home before listing. If you’re not sure whether you’ve successfully established that figure, one of those online calculators that helps figure out your home’s value can be helpful.
How Home Value Calculators Work
Many real estate websites offer a tool that can help determine a ballpark figure for your home’s value. Commonly called a “Home Value Calculator” or a “Property Valuation Calculator” these tools offer an instant estimate of how much your home is worth in Canada.
According to zolo.ca, their free online calculator examines several different types of data, including “nearby homes, comparable properties, recently sold properties, Canadian Census data, location, and other real estate market information.” At Zolo, after typing your address into the calculator, you’re prompted to specify the type of home (house, condo, or townhouse), the number of bedrooms, and the approximate square footage. An estimate is provided instantly after doing so. But how accurate is that estimate? Doesn’t the size of your lot, the age of your home, and the number of bathrooms–among many various other factors–also affect your homes’ market value?
Every site that offers a free valuation calculator cautions that the tool provides an estimate only and encourages homeowners to contact a licensed realtor or professional appraiser for a more accurate market valuation. But, for a homeowner who does not wish to work with a realtor or appraiser, and who would prefer to calculate the value of their home themself, the calculators can help determine if their valuation is reasonable.
How to Calculate the Market Value of Your Home
To determine your home’s fair market value, the National Bank of Canada suggests looking at these factors:
The exact same home will have a different market value in different municipalities. For example, a detached 3-bedroom home will be valued considerably higher in Toronto than in Moose Jaw. Additionally, the exact same home will have a different value depending on which neighbourhood it is located in within the municipality. And finally, a home’s location in relation to other nearby properties and amenities will also affect its value. A home located beside an expansive park will generally have a higher market value than a home located beside a strip mall.
The physical characteristics of a home and its lot also greatly impact the market value. The National Bank of Canada suggests looking at:
the living space, land size, number of rooms, presence of a garage and any other unique features, like a wine cellar or a pool. The quality of the exterior (roof, brick, windows, foundation) and the interior finish—particularly the kitchen and bathrooms—must also be examined in detail.
Once you’ve taken a detailed inventory of your home’s characteristics, you’ll be able to compare it more accurately to other homes on the market and those recently sold.
3.The sale price of comparable properties
Examining the listing and sale prices of comparable properties is crucial. Ideally, you should look at three to ten properties that sold within the last six months. Once you have prices for those properties you can compare them to yours to determine your home’s position within the range of prices. Perhaps your home has had extensive renovations as compared to another property, and therefore should be valued more highly. But perhaps your home is located on a busy street where a comparable property is located in quiet residential area next to a park. In that case, your own property will have a lower market value.
Municipal valuations are those done for property tax purposes. While they are generally accurate, they are also often outdated. That said, municipal valuations can be helpful when assessing comparable properties. If recently sold properties all had a final price that is comparably higher or lower than their municipal valuations, that can provide a guide to determine the market value of your own home.
Online Valuation Tools Provide a Starting Point
While your home’s most accurate market value can be calculated by an licensed realtor or professional appraiser, it is possible to calculate it on your own. Doing so requires a considerable amount of time and research, but the cost savings can make it more than worthwhile. If you’re planning to sell your house privately, a professional home appraisal in Ontario will cost about $350 to $500 plus HST. If you have the time to spare and enjoy digging up details, you can save that cost by calculating your own valuation.
It can be difficult, however, for a homeowner to objectively and accurately assess their own home. The most common issue is overestimating the home’s worth, which is often due to the simple desire to sell a house for as much as possible. However, other factors, such as sentimentality, overvaluing improvements, and inaccurate data can also lead to overestimating. Online tools, such as “how much is my house worth” calculators, can help establish a reasonable estimate that homeowners can use as a guide. In the end, determining your home’s fair market value is crucial to successfully and quickly selling your home.