An important part of buying or selling a home is knowing its fair market value. You want to avoid paying too much for the home, or listing it for sale at too low a price. No government agency keeps track of fair market values for homes because market values for homes constantly change. For the same reason, no single private company can be relied on as the sole authoritative source for fair market values. However, by consulting several sources of information you can get a good idea of a home's fair market value.
Compare the home to others in the area. Take a look at comparable homes in the area to see what they have sold for or what price they are listed for. Be sure to compare square footage, age and other aspects.
Get a market analysis report from your real estate agent. Ask your agent for a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA, report on the home. The report will give you info on comparable homes in the area from the last 6 months.
Get an online quote. Use a free site, like Zillow or HomeGain, to get a property valuation of your home. Compare the number you get with the historical data you have for homes in the area to see how close the property valuation is to data. You will only use the property valuation quote as a guide.
Get the square footage of recently sold comparable homes. Find at least three but no more than five homes from your data that sold in the area and are comparable to the home you need the fair market value for. Add up the square footage for each home and divide by the number of homes. This will be the average square footage of comparable homes in the local market.
Get the prices of recent comparable homes that sold. Using the same homes you used to get average square footage, add up the sold price for each and divide by the number of homes. This will be your average sold price of comparable homes in the local market.
Calculate the fair market value of the home. Take the average sold price and divide it by the average square footage to get the average price per square foot in the local market. Then take that amount and multiply it by the square feet in the home. This will give you the fair market value of the home.