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© Valentin Armianu |
Kim's column

Find out the real value of your house, for free

What is your house worth? Many people go for years without questioning the stated value of their homes. This mistake could mean you’re paying too much in property taxes and how much you could make (or lose) if you decide to sell.

Speaking of your neighborhood, get all the facts. Tap or click here to find out about your neighbors.

Many factors go into determining a home’s value including location, square footage, age, and the condition of the house, to name a few. Before you speak with buyers or realtors, gather several different estimates. They will research prices online, too.

If you want to raise your home’s value, several smart home upgrades will easily help drive up the price.

Remember, these figures are only estimates of your home’s potential sale price. You won’t know the accurate value until you get serious offers from buyers.

Start at the very top is very easy to use. Select Sell, enter your complete address, and then, Get Estimate. This site offers a cool feature. You can see potential profit or losses by breaking down several factors, such as the sale price minus real estate agent commission, or the balance owed on your mortgage.

Here’s an example: Your estimated sale price is $250,000, you owe $120,000 on your mortgage, you’ll be paying a 6% commission plus a 1% transfer tax and plan to allow $3,000 for repairs/improvements/staging. You’re looking at $109,500 for estimated proceeds.

Get a second opinion on your home’s value’s estimate feature is similar to First, go and select Sell, enter your exact address and then, Search.

You’ll see “Zestimate.” Toward the bottom of the page, you also see comparable homes in the area that recently sold. You can select any one for more detailed information.

A third opinion makes sense to come up with an average can also help you find an estimate, and you can also research properties in other areas. To see the estimated value of your home, type your address into the search bar.

After clicking search, you’ll see your Trulia Estimate and more useful data. Pay attention to the pricing trends in your ZIP code. It tells you the average listing price, median sale price and average sale price per square foot.

Searching for prices beyond your house

Getting a feel for the area and the market is a good idea, too. Here are some sites to help. has a search similar to Zillow and Just type your address and search to get an estimate of your home’s value.

Meanwhile, you can also find out what homes are selling for by state and by metropolitan areas within the state. Begin by selecting Home Values. That’ll take you to another page to conduct your search.

Before entering your search criteria, look at the information displayed. You’ll see an overview of the U.S. housing market that includes the median listing price, price per square foot and median square footage.

Check public records, too

Most U.S. counties have property tax information online. is a great place to start. A public records directory is on the home page, but finding property tax information can be a little tricky.

Begin by selecting the state you’re interested in on the map. Then, select the county. You’ll see a list of county offices. For most states, property tax info is handled by the County Assessor’s office, but it could be different in your state.

Click on Go to Data Online next to the County Assessor option. Once you type in an address and click search, you’ll see another page that lists the address, owner, parcel number and other information. Click on the parcel number.

You should see something that says, “Click here to pay your taxes or view your tax bill.” Click that link for tax details from the previous year, both the assessed tax and tax paid.

An innovative option if you’re not quite ready to sell

Zillow has a neat feature called Make me Move. You can test the market and gauge interest in your home without officially listing it for sale.

First, log into your Zillow profile, select Sell, and then Make Me Move from the drop-down menu. On the following screen, enter the complete address of your home. You may be asked to verify that your home is mapped correctly. Now, you can set the price you’re seeking and upload photos.

As the homeowner, your identity remains anonymous until you share this information. You can remove your listing anytime.

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