Agent

Gauging market value best left to locals

Why agents, appraisers have upper hand over industry reports

Getting an accurate sense of the current market value of your home is more of an art than a science. If you live in a housing development where all the homes are similar to one another, it's easier to establish value than it is if you live in an area with extreme variability in home size, style, quality, amenities and condition. To add to the mix, the real estate and finance markets are continually changing. As these markets change, so does the value of your home. The statistics quoted in the media don't offer much help in terms of understanding the current value of a single home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) tracks the sales of existing homes in terms of median sale price. During a period of time, half the homes sold for more than the median price, and half sold for less. When the median price increases, this can reflect higher overall home values. Or, it can simply mean that more expensive than inexpensive homes sold during a period. This was the situation ...

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