How To Calculate Real Estate Values
The most important step when buying or selling property is to decide the real estate values. I recently observed two land purchases. The two parcels of land were almost identical. Both were 10 acres of vacant land next to one another. The first parcel sold for $5,000.00; the second for $47,000.00. Almost 10 times more!
What was the difference? The first buyer paid a fair price after calculating the real estate values, the second buyer paid ten times what the property was actually worth because he didn’t.
Every piece of real estate is different and prices vary in different areas. It is impossible to say exactly what a piece of land is worth at any given moment. The best definition is “real estate worth whatever someone is willing to pay”.
However, the following tips will give you an idea of what specific types of land in a specific area are worth.
These 5 tips explain methods to discover approximate value of a parcel of land. Following these methods you won’t pay 10 times what it’s worth. When you buy you can know you paid a fair price.
Look at Recorded Deed to calculate Land Value
In most states the seller is required to include the real estate prices on the deed. The deed transfers the property to the buyer when recorded at the local recorder of deeds. This is usually a County Recorder.
When recorded these deeds are public record. You can visit the county and see what the property values were at the time of sale. Remember values vary depending on the economy and other factors. If the property sold some time ago the value could have changed.
Look at County Assessed Value
Counties assess properties (determine property value) for taxation purposes. Property taxes are based on the property’s market value. This is also public information and can give you an estimate of the property value.
Keep in mind that county assessed values often lag real market value by several years so assessed values won’t be exactly the same as market value.
Ask a Realtor for Property Values
An experienced realtor knows the property values in his area better than anyone. If you are working with a realtor make sure you are shown multiple properties.
Remember the realtor may be working for the seller and has an obligation to get the highest price possible. You can also ask a real estate broker to give you an estimate of real estate values for a fee. This is often called a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion).
Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com
Remember this is the price the seller is asking for the property, not necessarily the real estate values. Most sellers assume they will lower the sales price in negotiating the sale.
Realtor Company Websites
Similar to the tip above, is the real estate company’s website. The real estate company’s website may list the properties they have for sale and usually have more details and pictures than the sites above.
Property appraisal or determining real estate values is not an exact science. Even two appraisers will not calculate the exact market value of land or real estate. The above tips will give you an idea of its value, and help you avoid paying many times what it’s worth.
4 Biggest Mistakes when You Buy Property. Paying too much for the real estate is the biggest of land buying mistakes. Every parcel of land is unique. You can’t “look up” the value, making it difficult to know the right price. This especially applies in Utah Real Estate as the previous sales price is not disclosed in public records.
9 Questions to ask Before Buying Land. When Buying Land your are making a big decision and a big investment. Go slow, ask questions, and learn everything you can about the property before you buy. Below are some of the important questions to ask.
Using a Real Estate Agent. Buyers and Sellers should find an experienced, trustworthy Real Estate Agent and let them guide you through the land closing process in Utah. A Realtor is your best friend during this process and will walk you through it from beginning to end. They will help you avoid many of the pitfalls and problems that arise when buying land.