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Here Are 6 Free Hacks To Help Estimate What Your Home Is Truly Worth

Here Are 6 Free Hacks To Help Estimate What Your Home Is Truly Worth

As a homeowner considering selling your most valuable asset, your home, it can be frustrating to not have access to the same tools that would make quick work for any licensed real estate agent to estimate your home’s actual value. Yet, as an ordinary citizen, you may have spent hours or even days on end navigating popular websites that might help you find out what your home is worth.

If that’s you, then worry not, because as you can see in the graphic below, well over 27,000 home owners just like you have googled the key words “how much is my house worth”, just in the last 30 days alone.

Ahrefs' How Much Is My House Worth Search Volume

    With numbers this staggering, and because we know that many homeowners become frustrated with realtors and want to sell their home without using a realtor …We thought that it was time to share some little known free hacks to estimate the current value of your home (on your own).

    1. Use Free Online Home Value Estimators like Zillow

    It’s not a secret that Zillow has a free home appraisal calculator built into it’s real estate website, but is it accurate in determining what your home is worth? Zillow has reduced it’s 2006 error rate of 13.6% down to a current error rate of only 7.9%, according to Zillow‘s own research.

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    So should you solely use Zillow? No, but you should absolutely find the Zestimate for your specific property, write it down and see how it compares to the other figures that you will gather later.

    2. Generate Legitimate Offers From Real Investors

    As a seasoned real estate investor of over 5 years, I’ve spoken to and dealt with many homeowners that say they “need to sell”, yet they were hesitant to sell to me at my price. Why? Not because my offer was too low; it was because they didn’t feel that they knew exactly how much their house was really worth.

    So, to ease their concern about value, they went through the extra leg work to contact a few other investors and also got offers from them. They then compared those offers against mine to give them a better picture of their current “as-is” cash value of their home. But why not take it one step further and ask each investor that you meet with, to tell you what they would sell the house for, once any improvements were completed.

    This is an excellent way to get a good ballpark figure of your home’s value, based on the hard work & research of 3 unbiased investors.

    3. Research Your local Courthouse Deeds of Trusts

    Most homeowners don’t have enough experience in the real estate arena to know what they don’t know. In regards to finding your home’s value using guerrilla techniques, you might not know that researching your local courthouse’s deeds of trusts could help you get a very good idea of what homes are selling for in your very neighborhood. Here’s one way to go about finding a deed of trust:

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    1. Using your local County Appraiser’s Website, enter your street name or a street nearby where you live

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      2. Find a house that has a Deed date of within the last 12 months, like this one

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        3. Enter the home’s legal description into your County’s Clerk Office Records Website

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          4. In the search results, find the last Deed of Trust filed. Click on it…you’ll see the buyer’s loan amount when they purchased the property

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            Once you have the property’s loan amount and loan type (e.g. conventional/FHA/ VA), you can easily work your way backwards to get an idea of what the home probably sold for. For example, most FHA buyers finance the full 96.5% of the purchase, so calculate ($174,000 X 1.0362 = $180,298).

            This hack will get you very close to the total purchase price of the house, however, this method works best with FHA buyers. Many times the deed of trust will specify if it was an FHA loan or not.

            4. Estimate Value Based on Your Home’s Appraised Tax Value

            Having run hundreds if not thousands of comparable sales in my career as a Realtor/Investor, I have found that in my county (most likely many counties are the same), a properties assessed tax appraised value is equal to about 88-92% of it’s market value. This means that if a home’s market value is $100,000, then most likely its tax appraised value will be in the range of $88,000 to $92,000.

            If you’re county appraiser’s tax rolls are closely aligned to actual market values like this, then this quick hack may work for you.

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            5. Call For Sale Signs in Your Neighborhood

            FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, file photo, a "sale pending" sits atop a realty sign outside a home for sale in Surfside, Fla. The National Association of Realtors releases its pending home sales index for June on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

              Sure, if you’ve ever purchased a home, you already know that if you’ll call an agent’s for sale sign the agent will tell you the home’s current list price, square footage, and beds/baths of a home, but they won’t and simply can’t tell you what it’ll actually sell for. That’s because they don’t know…unless it’s under contract or pending sale.

              If you’ll simply ask the agent if the home is still available, and they say “no, it’s pending sale or under contract”, then you next question should be; Is it selling for close to list price? If the agent answer’s “yes” or “yes, right at list price”, then you basically just received a “real-time” value of your home (considering the home is very similar to yours).

              6. Get Comps From Someone You Already Know

              Asking someone you know that has their real estate license for advice is probably one of the easiest and least time consuming ways to get an extremely accurate value of your home. Why? Because real estate agents have access to their local MLS, which is chock-full of “real-time” sales data in your area. As a current licensee, I have never told a friend or a friend of family that I wouldn’t run a comparable sales report for them, so why not work through your existing Rolodex and call around to see who you know that knows an agent?

              More by this author

              James Vasquez

              Real Estate Investor

              Man focused on selling his home himself Here’s 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your House Yourself Here Are 6 Free Hacks To Help Estimate What Your Home Is Truly Worth Here Are 6 Free Hacks To Help Estimate What Your Home Is Truly Worth 5 Signs It's Time To Fire Your Real Estate Agent 5 Signs That It’s Time To Fire Your Realtor

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              1 How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways to Try Now 2 How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart 3 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic 4 50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time 5 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

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              Last Updated on November 26, 2019

              How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways to Try Now

              How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways to Try Now

              Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

              For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

              Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started.

              Whether you’re starting a business, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques here:

              1. Go Back to “Why”

              Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

              If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

              2. Go for Five

              Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

              3. Move Around

              Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

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              4. Find the Next Step

              If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

              Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

              5. Find Your Itch

              What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

              Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

              6. Deconstruct Your Fears

              I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

              Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

              7. Get a Partner

              Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

              8. Kickstart Your Day

              Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

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              Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

              9. Read Books

              Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

              Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

              10. Get the Right Tools

              Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

              Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

              11. Be Careful with the Small Problems

              The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

              Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

              12. Develop a Mantra

              Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

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              If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

              13. Build on Success

              Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

              There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

              Bonus: Staying Motivated Forever

              The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

              Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

              Passion

              Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

              Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

              Habits

              You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

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              Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

              This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits: Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

              Flow

              Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

              Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

              Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

              Final Thoughts

              With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

              Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

              More About Motivation

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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