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Am I entitled to a home inspection and to be present at an appraisal by a realtor?

I am interested in purchasing one of the homes that belonged to my mother.She passed away 8 months ago.My younger brother is the executer of her estate and advised me I cannot go along when the home I am interested in buying is appraised by a realtor.The reason he uses is because I will point out the things I no are wrong with this house.The house is outdated and has not been rented for several years.I no some of the problems the home has but would like it inspected throughly.
  • August 23 2012 - La Mesa
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Answers (20)

Best Answer

It sounds like there is some bad blood between you and your brother and he does not want you there to try and persuade the Realtor to reduce the estimated value they come up with to list the house for. I would not be all too concerned about being there anyway. What I would suggest to you is to make sure your brother does not sign a listing agreement with the Realtor that does not give you, or any family member, the ability to purchase the house without paying a commission. I would make sure that is in there, then have a home inspection and negotiate a purchase price with your brother for the house with there being no commission paid. 
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for user541958
Hi Hpvanc,
I like all your ideas and sounds realistic to me.Just convincing the executer may be another story.But I will give it a try.Thanks for posting
  • August 23 2012
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Hi Cindy,
It isn't fair! That alone makes me think that the executor is trying to hide something from me or be secretive by not wanting me there.We aren't strangers.We are family! I do plan to go talk to the attorney and let her no in writing that I am interested in the buying one of the homes as suggested by one of the other posters who responded that info to me.Thanks for your input and responding to my post.
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for hpvanc
If you are willing to pay cash, offer to pay for a licensed appraiser to appraise the property with both you and your brother present.  If you decide to proceed with the purchase after the appraisal, make the same bargain on the inspection.  Have an attorney draw up and review all of the contracts, you will get actual legal advices and will most like save substantially over what agents will charge.

Personally I think your brother is being penny wise and pound foolish in his method of establishing the value of the property, even if it is in the best interest of the estate to list it for sale on the open market.
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for pvhomes
You can go and if you want to buy it, it is a good idea.
  • August 23 2012
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Hi Tim,
Thanks so much for your input.You have given me some very useful tips
  • August 23 2012
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Hi Bernardg,
Thanks for your response.I fully understand an executor's job is not an easy one.That  is why I chose not to deal with that responsibilty of my mothers estate.I hope my mothers estate will be finalized soon so the family can move forward .It hasn't been easy theses last eight months.Thanks again.
  • August 23 2012
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Hi Bill,
I do not a contract on the house,and I am hoping I will not need a lender for the property, I am interested in buying.If the price is right.Thanks so much for responding to my post.
  • August 23 2012
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Hi John,
Your information was very helpful.In reading all the responses I received
from my e mail, I have gained alot of insight into the buying a home process.Thanks again!
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Appraisers are licensed (by your state) professionals who do legal appraisals of value.  They are actually opinions so that every appraiser you hire will arrive at a slightly different value, but they should be within 5%.
Real estate agents do a market analysis or broker price opinions (BPO).
The appraisal follows specific industry standards were the BPO is just that, a broker's opinion and it depends on who the broker is.
Courts tend to use appraisers, not brokers.  There is typically regulation in place that neutralizes appraisers, not brokers.
In fairness to all of the beneficiaries it would seem safest to use an appraiser.  If you were to contest the price (disagree with it) that the appraiser found for the estate, you would hire your own appraiser to give you a second opinion.
Getting prices from friends and non-real estate professionals would seem to be skirting the fiduciary responsibility of the executor. Getting a BPO is still way off the mark.
  • August 23 2012
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Hi Cory,
Thank you for your useful information.Everything is up in in the air over the home I am interested in buying.My brother had his accountants lady friend come over along with the accountant to the home I am interested in.She did some sort of written estimate on the property.I have a copy but don't no if it is legal form.I told my brother I was interested in the house after I read the value placed on it.My brother made excuses,but I won't go into that.I later found out the accountant and the lady friend are into flipping homes.So I think my brother was concerned the price was to low.The couple later came back with a little higher amount but my brother didn't buy that offer either.So now my brother has contacted a realitor who has not seen the property as of yet.  
  • August 23 2012
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Trace
Thank you for your very helpful advice.I am alittle unclear of what an Independent appraisal is verses BPO tho.Could you please explain.Thanks

  • August 23 2012
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I would have an independent appraisal done not a BPO, which is what a Realtor would be able to do.  I would highly recommend an inspection of the property by a professional home inspector since the home is "outdated" as you said. I have seen many estate type homes that have many issues that were neglected over the years that can be quite costly to repair or correct. If you need an inspector you should try the inspector search at www.ashi.org.  An ASHI inspector will tend to be your better more experienced inspector.
  • August 23 2012
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It sounds like you want this house for the least amount possible, so you want an appraisal and inspection (both typically buyer expenses) done before you write an offer for it. You can have both if the executor agrees, but normally, these things are done when you're already under contract.

You can have the agent who'll be representing you, prepare a CMA. At least you'd have an idea of value before an inspection and appraisal.

If you're already under contract to purchase the home, of course you're entitled to a home inspection and appraisal - if agreed upon in the purchase contract, so hopefully you had an agent prepare that for you.

As for the appraisal, you can elect to be there for it, although the buyer usually isn't present. The seller/executor can also be there.

Hope this all helps!

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
You did not say if you already have an offer on the property or you are having an appraisal done for the purpose of establishing the price of the property.  Appraisers are professionals, they can see the condition of the property and its impact on the price.  If you are going to get a mortgage, the lender will also be doing an appraisal. And he is not going to lend you more than the appraised value provided on the appraisal he ordered.  By the way...Realtors do not do appraisals, Appraisers do.  A Realtor can do a CMA comprative market analysis, but that is not an appraisal. I suggest that you work with a buyer agent to serve as a buffer between you and the Estate, of course you will have a Home Inspection done, when your offer is accepted and if necessary will negotiate the price if major items need replacement/maintenance.  Good luck!
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Estates are tricky. Though your brother is the executor and has the legal right to make the final decisions, it really is in the best interest of ALL of the beneficiaries if the estate attorney is hearing from all of the beneficiaries.  I'd express your desire to own the home to the attorney, in writing.
As has been pointed out there is a difference between an appraisal and a market analysis. 
Ask your attorney, but I don't think that a market analysis will hold as much strength in court as an appraisal.  Appraisers are held to much higher standards of care than real estate agents in these 2 reports. The appraisal cost money, the market analysis is free. I'm a little surprised that the executor is trying to cut that particular corner.
  • August 23 2012
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Go with a lender appraisal not an agents appraisal. Do you have a contract on the house? If so, you can be there for the inspection as well.
  • August 23 2012
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Please don't take this as a legal opinion but if your brother is the executor, he can reasonably restrict access to the home to anybody. The Realtor will be retained by him and will inspect the home to do a market analysis. Maybe two or even three Realtors. A Market Analysis will produce an opinion of value which would normally be used as a guide to where the home will be priced if and when it is listed for sale.

Once your brother has decided what price to list the home at, he may give you first option to buy. That would be the point to have it inspected and also to have it appraised (although your lender will arrange the appraisal, assuming you need financing). Once you reach that stage, it all becomes a matter of negotiation.

The key thing you should remember is that your brother, as Ececutor, has a legal responsibility to the estate, to get market value for the home.
  • August 23 2012
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Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
Just insist on an appraisal. I also don't see how it is fair for you not to be able to be there, but he can be there. 

A real estate agent's CMA is NOT the same thing as an appraisal. Get an appraisal by a licensed appraiser.  
  • August 23 2012
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The realtor is not doing an appraisal but a market analysis that will be based on comp homes that have sold and homes on the market. I would just wait for the market to be done and if you dont agree with the value at that time I would ask for a second opinion.The realtors take into consideration the updates needed.
  • August 23 2012
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