Real NEastate: Somerton house values

Q: I am trying to refinance my Somerton split-level home, and the bank appraised my home for much lower than I think it is worth. They are telling me it’s only worth $260,000, when I know for a fact there are houses like mine in the neighborhood selling for way higher. What exactly is the market value of my house?

A: The current average sold price for Somerton split-levels over the last four months is $265,000. That may seem shocking since there are homes, like yours, that are for sale for more than $300,000.  In fact, the average “for-sale” price for a Somerton split-level is about $320,000 right now.

Appraisal values and market values do generally differ. What an appraiser would value your home at may be different than what a buyer would value your home at. Appraisers only look at what has sold to determine the “actual” value.

There are many factors that can affect your appraised value. For example:

  • Features: Appraisers and buyers alike consider location, condition and features. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you have? How updated is your home? How large is your yard? Are you on a small street or main highway?
  • Distressed Properties: There was a Somerton split-level that sold recently for $215,000 and, even though there were a couple that sold for more than $270,000, it still brought down the market average. It may have been a short sale, but the fact is, many appraisers will likely factor that home into their appraisal.

Appraisers try to only look for homes sold 3 months back. There are some recently sold comparables that may be low one month but higher the next. It could simply be a matter of timing.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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