When people buy or sell a home, they often turn to a real estate agent to complete the transaction for them. While a competent real estate agent can successfully list a home, market it, negotiate between the parties and help everyone through the complicated legalities of a house sale, the buyers and sellers should get involved wherever possible. With tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, one thing that both a home buyer and home seller should undertake is a self home appraisal to get an objective idea of the worth of the house.
Use a web service, such as moveon.com or homevaluehunt.com, which offers a free searchable database of sold homes. A user may type in the address of the home that is on the market and receive, for free, a listing of recently sold homes in the neighborhood near the subject property. The information includes the date that the property sold, the price it sold for, and other information about the property. An individual doing a self home appraisal can easily compare the subject property to these recently sold properties to get an idea of the property's worth.
Drive around the neighborhood to find similar homes on the market. "For Sale" signs contain the contact information for the home's real estate agent. Call the agent to inquire about the house and ask the home's asking price. Ask to see the home to find out about the home's interior condition and compare it with the subject property. Agents generally list homes at a higher price than the home will eventually sell for, but comparing the asking prices helps to appraise the value of similar homes in the same area.
Check out area homes coming up for auction through an auction company. Sellers often sell their homes through auction houses. Note the prices that these homes sell for at the auction house and compare them to the subject property.
Estimate the costs of reproducing the house. This approach works best with a new property and estimates the cost of replacing the home on the present property. Check out the land value of the house (hiring a land appraiser affords the most accurate reading of a land value.) Ask for three quotes from contractors to gauge the cost of building a new, similar home. The combination of the land value and the construction costs will provide a tool for self home appraisal.