WRX Property group is a local, full service, real estate team part of Keller Williams Realty in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON. Our primary goal is to help people explore, learn, and understand the real estate market in the region.
By analyzing the most recent sold homes in your neighbourhood, accounting for your home’s features and benefits, and interpreting Kitchener-Waterloo’s real estate trends, we are quickly and accurately able to provide you with the current market value of your home. Our assessments are free, without obligation, and provide you with valuable insights on what your biggest asset is worth.
There is a lot of thought that goes into figuring out how much your home is actually worth. Realtors have all kinds of techniques and strategies geared toward figuring out the best price to set for a home. Knowing what price to go with is critical because it forms the cornerstone of any transaction. Simply put, everything has a price…and if the price is right, it will sell right away, benefiting both parties in the exchange. For most people out there, their home is among the largest assets that they own. It carries the price tag with the most zeroes, obtained with the most work over the longest time. Rightfully so, you want to make sure all of your bases are covered when conducting a transaction of this magnitude.
If you want a detailed look at what your home is worth, we would be happy to help! We will perform a prompt and in depth analysis of what your home is worth on the market, for free and with no obligations attached. Just fill out the form above and we will be in touch very shortly to calculate a value for you or answer any questions that you might have.
A home evaluation brings together many different types of information and many different calculations. If you want to see what goes into such an assessment, do read on.
One important distinction to make is that a realtor’s price evaluation is inherently different from a tax evaluation or a mortgage appraisal. Touching upon it briefly, a tax evaluation is a pricetag that the government puts on the home for taxation purposes, whereas a mortgage appraisal is a value placed on the property for financing purposes.
Why are these perspectives different at all? Well, that is because the values are calculated to serve different purposes. Simply put (without having to go into explaining the intricacies of taxation or mortgage finance), the mortgage lender and the government have different interests when looking at the property.
The mortgagee will look at your property as an investment they made. They have loaned you the money to purchase the home and they are expecting to make that investment back, plus a return (which is the interest). This means that they will pay close attention to things such as risk factors or how well the property is holding up. The price they calculate brings together everything they need to know in order to assess the state of their investment (which essentially is your mortgage and your home). Therefore this calculation tells you how much value your mortgage lender places on your home in terms of their own financial goals and desires as investors.
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The government will assess your property as well, however, they will take a completely different set of criteria into account. Their intentions are different from that of your mortgagee because they want to know how much your property is worth for taxation purposes. They look at econometric data focusing on the area and zoning, best possible use of the land, proximity to transportation and road networks, and so on. They will also take into account proximity to different amenities such as shopping centres, greenspace and parks. While a mortgagee is looking at your home as an investment in their portfolio, the government looks at your home as a tiny piece in the larger economy that they manage. In other words, they value your property or plot of land in terms of how it performs (or how it could perform) in the greater scheme of the city or town’s development. This tells them how well their economic plans are coming along and also gives them a measuring stick for collecting taxes for future expenditure.
Now that we’ve explained all of the above, what actually IS the value of your home? Technically speaking, both of these numbers describe the value of your home correctly, even though they are different. The point to keep in mind is what are you calculating the value for. Different purposes will require different types of calculations, which will then yield different results. While that provides quite a lot of information, it still feels like our initial question is left unanswered.
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Let’s proceed to answer it then…..what is your home worth? What most people think of when they think about the value of their home is the so called “market value.” The market value of a property is defined by what the market is willing to pay for that specific property. Breaking it down in a similar manner to the mortgage or tax valuations, it all has to do with the intent behind the calculation. The mortgage assessment is from the perspective of your mortgagee lending you money. The tax assessment is from the perspective of the government planning out the city and collecting taxes to continue development. Filling the last piece of the puzzle, a market analysis is done from the perspective of what buyers are actually willing to pay for your home.
This angle is the most relevant for both buyers and sellers because it addresses quite literally how much money people are willing to take out of their pocket for a specific property. When you buy a home for yourself, there are certain things you personally look at, just like the government or the mortgagee. However, instead of looking at risks or zoning areas, you might look at the layout of the home or things like how much you enjoy the design, how up to date the kitchen is, and so forth. You will look at the things that matter to consumers such as how the home makes you feel, or how happy you think your family will be living there. These are quite different tastes from the perspectives we discussed above, and hence, the price from this calculation will be different. That being said, there definitely is overlap between the different assessments because they all take into account some of the basic aspects like the size and condition of the home, for example.
So let’s recap then: a realtor’s market analysis is an assessment of how much consumers are willing to pay for a home along with all the great feelings and perks that come with it. This is based on tangible evidence of how much people actually are willing to pay for certain things. A realtor will use that information to compile a value for your home. Simple enough!
That being said, however, there is one last obstacle to overcome. If you are looking to find the value of the home that you own, that means your home hasn’t sold yet. This is quite the predicament because our entire approach was about looking at how much people have paid for the property.
One thing you could do is look at how much your home has sold for in the past. You bought the home yourself at some point, and unless it was a new-build, there have been people that bought and sold the same property in the past. This is a part of the equation, but it definitely isn’t close to the actual value. This is because market conditions can change dramatically over time. Even if you know generally whether the market went up or down since you bought the home, you cannot tell (at this point) exactly by how much it went up or down for your property specifically.
To solve this, we need to take a look at additional data. The best place to begin our search is by looking at what similar homes have sold for. This way they have already sold for something and we have a price. Ideally it would be similar homes within the same area of town, but depending on the information available you might sometimes have to use prices of similar homes from different areas. It makes it a bit trickier but it’s not an impossible hurdle to overcome. This is where we get the term Comparative Market Analysis, because it is all about making market comparisons.
The art of the comparative market analysis is all in the (you guessed it) comparisons. This is because no one property is the same as another. Even with buildings that are identical on the day construction is complete (and there are plenty of examples), they still would not be identical when their respective owners decide to sell years down the road. That’s because different owners do different things with their homes over the years. They are maintained in different ways, they do different renovations or upgrades, they are even decorated differently. By the end of the process, the homes are as different as the people that resided in them.
This is where the art of the comparison comes into play. What realtors do is they collect an abundance of data about multiple homes that are as similar as possible to your home and then retrace the steps by taking all the differences into account. For example, say there was a home which in the beginning was identical to yours. Over time, you might have done extensive improvements and renovations, whereas the other homeowner did not. If we see that they sold for a specific price without said improvements, we can possibly say that your home’s value will be a notch above that. That being said, it also depends on what kinds of improvements and changes were made. Some types of upgrades are more popular with buyers than others, meaning different projects will have different impacts on your home’s value. Similar assessments can be made based on the condition of the home. If your home is in better shape than an otherwise identical property that wasn’t as well maintained, you know you have a chance at getting more than the other seller.
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These are particularly simplified examples, but the logic is the same throughout the process. It’s not typical that you have data for fully identical houses, so a lot of calculations actually have to take place. You normally find homes that are of a similar style or build but that have variations in size, accessories, renovations done, lot size, and condition. A realtor, after making sure to collect ample data, will then try to average out these prices while also adjusting for the variations (which can be quite the balancing act). The assessments follow a pretty natural judgement; larger properties are expected to be higher priced than smaller ones, some areas of town will be more desirable and pricey than others, some amenities and designs are more popular with buyers, and so forth. The comparative market analysis brings all of these data points together and adjusts them into a value which best describes what your home COULD sell for once it gets put on the market. A skilled realtor will have a fine eye for collecting the most relevant data and performing the most graceful adjustments to reach the value that we are all seeking here.
Well, that was quite a journey. The final question to tackle is, why even bother? Why should one know the value of their home if the buyer is going to reveal it to you when buying it anyway?
The answer is because it saves you a great, great deal of time, effort, and money. It’s very similar to fishing. If you pick your bait right and you sit at the right spot at the lake at the right time, you will have no troubles fishing. If you don’t, you might just be stuck in the sun all afternoon with nothing to show for it. Surely a fish may eventually come by, but it really makes a difference if you can get your fish sooner rather than later.
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This translates quite exactly to the home selling process with pricing strategies. A well priced home will attract buyers and will have people bid on it. If everything goes according to plan, you want to see multiple offers over a reasonable period of time, which will then allow you to choose the best one. If it’s priced too high, it might sit on the market, taking up your time and energy without generating any offers from buyers. That amounts to a huge loss because you are sitting around similar to our unfortunate fisherman mentioned earlier. The opposite can occur if you price your home too low; you might be swamped with offers. This is definitely better than sitting around, however, you may be missing out on getting the best possible price for your home. As mentioned before, for most people their home is their biggest investment, which is gives you every reason to make sure you pick a well calculated price to go with.