So maybe you want to sell it, or maybe you just want to pull out some equity. Maybe you're thinking of adding on but don't know if it makes good financial sense. How do you know what you home is worth?
Like most things in life, this question doesn't have a simple answer. It really depends on what you need the answer for and how accurate you need it to be.
If you're looking to refinance or get a home equity line, you're going to need an appraisal. Appraisers are specially trained to look at all possible factors affecting the value of property. You can expect to pay at least $400-$500 for an appraisal. They are required whenever you are financing (or refinancing) a property.
If you're thinking of selling and just want to know what you can expect to get from the sale, that's where a Realtor comes in. (I suggest hiring a PSA certified agent.) Realtors are trained to compare other properties on the market and ones that have recently sold to your property to come up with a comparative market analysis (CMA). Experienced agents are usually pretty good at estimating what the market will pay for your home.
If you're considering an addition and want to know if it makes financial sense, you may need more than one professional to help you. You'll need to speak with a contractor to know just how much that addition is going to cost. Then you'll want to bring in a Realtor or an appraiser to let you know not only what your home is worth now, but what it would be worth after the addition. At this point it's just some math and a big decision to make.
If you would like me to come give you a no obligation estimate of your home's value, just let me know. I'm happy to help!