Assessing a home’s value when putting it on the market with a realtor is affected by several factors. There are two numbers to consider when selling your home: assessed value versus market value. 

In some cases, assessed value and market value may be similar. But in general, the assessed value will be lower than the market value. Each of these two numbers will be used in different ways throughout the selling process. Knowing the difference can help you get a great deal.

Assessed Value

Understanding assessed value starts with experience who is assessing the property and why. Counties employ assessors to place a value on a home to levy property taxes on it. The assessor looks at what similar properties in the area are selling for. They also assess the value of any recent improvements, any income you may be making from the property (such as renting out rooms), and the property’s replacement cost if it were to burn down in a fire. An assessor is usually a real estate professional, so they are fully aware of the many aspects that go into selling a home. 
Once the assessor comes up with a number, s/he will multiply that number by an “assessment rate” – a certain percentage in that tax jurisdiction. The percentage is usually 80% to 90%. So, for example, if the assessor determines the market value of your home at $500,000 and your local assessment rate is 90%, then the assessed value of your home will be $450,000.

Your local government will then use that sum to calculate your property taxes. The higher your home’s assessed value, the more you’ll pay in taxes. To get a ballpark figure, go to and search by zip code. 

Market Value

The market value of a home is based on market conditions: what buyers are willing to pay for a home and what a seller is willing to accept. Websites like Trulia and Zillow will help give you an idea of how your home compares to others that have been sold recently. 

Other factors will also go into determining market value. The main one is location. How desirable is the area? Are there lots of schools and amenities in the area?

In terms of the house itself, factors will include the exterior condition of the home, style, availability of public utilities, etc. It will also have the number of rooms and their sizes, appliances, heating systems, energy efficiency, etc.
Supply and demand will also drive up market value. If there is a seller’s market, anyone seeing your house as their dream home might be willing to offer more.

The market value will be used in your listings as a fair asking price for your home. This is also a ballpark figure that the prospective buyer and their agent can use to estimate the house’s value, make sure they have enough financing in place, and so on. Everyone wants to get a great deal and ensure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible, so no one wastes any time.