ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Quick and Easy Guide to Real Estate Appraisal - How Much is Your House Worth?

Updated on October 23, 2012

Determining What Your Property is Worth

Having renovated and flipped several houses over the past several years, I learned some very quick and easy techniques for determining the value of any particular piece of real estate. Fundamentally, real estate appraisals are simply a determination of a particular properties value as compared to the area in which it resides. This comparative technique is far and away the most common methodology used by professional real estate investors. They simply compare one property against similar properties that are in close proximity while matching as closely as possible the attributes of the subject property to those of the comparable properties (comps).

This may sound a bit daunting, but in practice, it is really quite easy to develop a solid valuation before you spend any money for an appraiser. Your first step is to determine the specifics of your subject property. For our purposes, we will assume your subject property is a single family home. You will need to determine the square footage of the property, the number of bed rooms and baths, and the size of the lot. From there, you will want to add any special features or lack thereof. For example, does the property have a garage or a walk in basement? With this baseline data in hand, you are ready to begin valuing the property.

Most cities now post real estate transactions on-line, but from my experience the single best resource for covering nearly all areas of the country is a website call Zillow. Since it works so well, we will be using for our exercise. Once you reach Zillow, you will simply type the address of the subject property into the address search line at Zillow. With that, you will immediately be provided with a Zillow appraisal based on the Zillow algorithm. It will also provide a range of values along with some trending information to let you know the property's value trending. This is good information, but it will not give you a true value. Now that you have all of Zillow's information on your subject property, you are ready to dive in a bit deeper.

Zillow will also provide you with a window that shows similar sales near your subject property. You will want to click through that link to find an expanded list of properties that recently sold in the area. With that expanded list, you need to pay close attention to the most recent sales, and the average sales price per square foot. Take several examples of recent sales and eliminate any outliers whether they are much higher or much lower that the mean. With those properties eliminated, you will then want to calculate a sales price per square foot for those properties along with the average square footage of those properties. Take that average and apply it to the square footage for your property.

That calculation will provide you with your baseline appraisal. From there, you will want to adjust based on the attributes of your property. For example, if your property is in good shape compared to the comparable properties, you would begin to move you price per square foot up. Further, if you property is smaller than the average of the comparable properties, you would again take the value per foot up. Conversely, if your property is larger than average, you would adjust downward a bit. Always pay attention to the list of comparables to help in matching your property against the similarly situated recent sales. Finally, add or subtract value based on the unique features of your property. Extra bedrooms carry a premium as does a garage if garages are unusual versus the comparative properties.

With these variables represented, you should now have a pretty good idea of the value of the property. Good luck and I hope you find that your property proves more valuable than you anticipated.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)