You know home sales happen in your community every day, but how do you know what they're really worth? And how does that relate to your home's value? It's not all about granite countertops or square footage. Many factors influence your home's value. If you've been wondering how you can estimate the value of your home, start by looking around you.

What Is Fair Market Value?

Fair market value is the price a house will sell for in a reasonable amount of time. Buyers, sellers and financers must all agree the home is worth the selling price, especially if the buyer is using a home loan to purchase. Tax assessors also use fair market value to calculate property taxes, and insurance agencies use them to set premiums. The issue is that no simple calculation exists to estimate a property's value. You can consult a variety tools to help you take an educated guess, but a real estate agent will be able to give you the most accurate estimate of your property's value.

The Value of Location

You hear all the time about how important location is, because it's true. Your home's location is the single most influential factor in your property's value. A mansion may be exquisite, but if it's sitting next to a sewage treatment plant, it's going to be worth far less than if it's sitting on the beach. A lot of factors fall under the umbrella of location that go into your home's value, and two big ones are nearby real estate transactions and comparable houses for sale. School districts are a major factor in value. What is traffic like in the neighborhood? How are your house and nearby properties zoned? What stores are close by? Are any new developments planned for the area? How convenient is the house to the city center, schools and shopping, or to interstates? The answers to all of these questions have an impact on your home's value.

Features of Your Home

Upgrades and amenities will make a difference in the value of your house for sure, but what they cost to install has almost no bearing on their value. Upgrades are not viewed or valued equally by every buyer. Some strongly prefer what others strongly dislike. If you plan to upgrade your home, speak with a RealtorĀ® before doing so, to verify what today's buyers want. Size and layout are also important, but again, only a part of the equation. Another property in your neighborhood may be the same size as yours, but based on layout and design, command a very different price. Today's buyers want open-concept homes with high ceilings and will pay accordingly. In real estate, however, bigger is not always better. An area's demographics play a large role in a home's worth in a particular location.

If you would like to have a better idea of your home's value, contact a professional RealtorĀ®. With access to a large database of information that is not available to you, your agent can determine almost to the penny what your home is worth at any given moment. Contact the Edie Israel Team today to discuss your property's value and to learn more about recent home sales in your area.