Dated: 09/26/2023

Equity vs. Home Value: What Happens to Your Equity When You Sell Your House?

Understanding the difference between equity and home value is vital for homeowners, especially those considering selling their property. While both terms relate to the worth of your home, they serve different functions in the real estate landscape. This article delves deeper into these concepts and what they mean for sellers.

What is Home Value?

Home value, simply put, is the current market value of your property. It's how much your home would sell for in the current market conditions. This value can fluctuate based on various factors, including market demand, the condition of your home, and recent sales of similar properties in your area.

What is Equity?

Equity represents the difference between your home's market value and the amount you owe on your mortgage. In simpler terms, it’s the portion of the home you truly own, free and clear of any loans. For example, if your house is worth $300,000 and you owe $200,000 on your mortgage, you have $100,000 in equity.

How Do Equity and Home Value Interact When Selling?

When you decide to sell your house, your home's market value and your equity play crucial roles in determining your profits.

home value
  1. Calculating Potential Profits: Once you've established your home's market value, deduct any outstanding mortgage amount from it. The result is the equity you have in the house, which, in many cases, will be your profit upon selling, minus selling expenses.
  2. The Role of Outstanding Debts: If you've taken out a home equity loan or have a second mortgage, these will need to be paid off when selling. They can reduce the total equity you have available.
  3. Negative Equity: Sometimes, homeowners find themselves in a situation where they owe more on their mortgage than their home's current value. This scenario, known as being "underwater," can be challenging when selling. You might be wondering about selling a house with negative equity. Is it even possible? The answer is nuanced, and our detailed guide can shed light on this situation.
  4. Selling "As-Is": In some cases, homeowners may choose to sell their homes "as-is," especially if they're in need of significant repairs or updates. If you’re considering this route, understand how it might impact both your home value and equity. Learn more about selling your house as-is and the unique opportunities and challenges it presents.
Why is This Understanding Important?
  1. Informed Decision Making: Being clear about your equity helps you set realistic expectations about the profits from the sale. It can guide decisions such as whether to make home improvements before selling or to sell as-is.
  2. Negotiation Power: Knowing your equity position can strengthen your hand in negotiations. If you have a significant amount of equity, you might be more willing to wait for a higher offer. Conversely, if you have less equity or are underwater, you might opt for a quick sale.
  3. Future Financial Planning: The equity from your home sale might fund your next property purchase, retirement, or other investments. Understanding it is key to planning your financial future.

In conclusion, while the terms equity and home value might seem interchangeable, they signify different aspects of your property's worth. Both are intertwined and play a pivotal role when selling your home. If you're considering selling or just curious about where you stand, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to guide you through every step, answer questions, and ensure you make informed decisions. Contact us today to get started or to learn more.