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Home Value: Appraised, Estimated, Actual

How Much Is My House Worth?
Written by
January 31, 2023
min read

The value of a home is measurable in three ways; appraised, estimated, and actual. These three measures provide different data and have diverse uses. All of these methods of obtaining home value provide unique information. Learn more about your home's value in the following guide.

Appraised Home Value

Appraised home value is the property's value as determined by an expert. Appraisers use various methods, including comparable sales in the area, analyzing the property's condition, and accounting for improvements that have been made to it.

This method is most often used when looking at the home's value through a professional lens. Refinances, using your home as collateral, or opening a home equity line of credit (HELOC) all use the home's appraised value as the primary measure.

How to Appraise Your Home

The only way to get your home appraised is to hire a specialist.  An appraiser will visit your home, measure the property, and assess its condition. They will also look at comparable properties in your area.

While the homeowner can estimate these, most banks will only consider the number provided by the professional. That is because personal estimates, while helpful, may be biased or misinformed. The appraiser is a third-party house examiner, so that they will give a fair market value estimate.

How Accurate are Appraisals

Appraisals are accurate because the appraiser has been vetted and tested throughout their career. You can generally trust the numbers despite the influence of factors such as experience and the quality of the information provided.

Estimated Home Value

The estimated home value is a valuation of what a home is worth based on the home's location, size, condition, and other characteristics. It is used as a starting point for determining the value of a home for sale or mortgage lending. It is not an exact value but an estimate based on available data and market trends. 

The estimated home value can be determined by a professional or through online tools that use algorithms to evaluate the value of a home based on various data inputs.

How to Estimate Your Home Value

The three primary methods used by homeowners are online home value calculators, CMA, and professional appraisals.

Online Calculators

There are many online resources for home value calculators, which use public data to estimate the value of a home based on factors such as location, square footage, and the number of bedrooms. Although the most accessible, these will also be the least accurate, providing a rough estimate.


A competitive market analysis (CMA) is a report prepared by a real estate agent that compares the home to similar properties in the area. This estimate is more accurate because it considers factors unique to the property.

Professional Appraisals

For the most precise estimate, hire a professional appraiser. That involves an inspection of the home and an analysis of comparable properties in the area. It is more expensive but will provide the most accurate estimate.

Difference Between the Appraised Value and Estimated Value

An appraised value is a professional determination of the worth of a property conducted by a licensed appraiser. It gets based on a comprehensive analysis of the property, including its condition, location, size, age, and features. An estimated value is less thorough and is based on simplified calculations.

An estimated value is simply a starting point rather than an absolute value. It may be provided by a real estate agent, a property owner, or an online tool to gain insight into what a  property is worth.

Actual Home Value

The actual home value is what the home sells for. Under most circumstances, it will be the market value. However, depending on property condition, renovations, personal connection to the buyer, neighborhood, or local events that affect the market, it may shift up or down.

How to Determine The Actual Home Value

There is no way to determine a home's value. Appraisals and CMAs will get the closest, but they are estimations. They offer a working value, from which one can begin to sell their house or open a HELOC; however, they differ from the exact amount the home could sell for.

Factors That Affect Home Value

Factors that impact a home's value include location, size, quality of construction, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities. The age of the house will also impact the matter, along with the economic setting of the area.

How Does the Value of a Home Change Over Time

If well maintained, homes tend upward in terms of price. However, several factors can sink the price of a house. If the house falls into disarray or the area becomes less stable, the value will plummet. Unforeseeable financial crises, such as a recession, will also impact the prices of homes.

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Home Value: Appraised, Estimated, Actual