Should Sellers Get An Appraisal?

Here is the advise I give sellers. If the price you want for your house can be easily supported by recent comparable sales then it may not make sense to have an appraisal done. An appraisal "may" become a material fact about the property, especially if a buyer ask if an appraisal has been done recently. If the appraisal is favorable to your position then things may be ok. But what if the appraiser comes in with a value that is way below your asking price.

I know appraisals "should be" very close to one another. But in today's maket where comparable sales may be hard to find, it leaves more to subjective opinion on the part of the appraiser. I have seen two appraisals on the same house done a couple of months apart come up with values tens of thousans of dollars apart. And timing can be everything when it comes to an appraisal.

Here are some examples of when it may be good to have an appraisal done:

1) The price of the house is very hard to arrive at. There are no or very few comparables or the house is so unique, such as a log cabin that may not have any direct comparables.

2) You want to be sure the house will appraise for the price you are asking. I have seen some desireable homes, say in a historic area, that would never appraise for the price they were contracted for. And if the buyer needs a loan and the appraisal does not come in at your price it may be difficult for the buyer to close if the bank cannot justify the price for the loan.

3) If you the seller cannot seperate yourself and emotions from the transaction itself. If you built the house with your own bare hands and you know that every single nail went in with loving care, you may think the value is much higher than it actually is. An appraisal can give you an unbiased opinion of what it is really worth.
  • June 09 2010 - Chapel Hill
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Answers (2)

Are you trying to obtain current value of your property and not sure of what to do?  Ask your friends, neighbors and relatives if they know of a good local Realtor that may be of help to you.  The Realtor may suggest that you contact an appraiser or, may be able to offer you direction.
When a buyer purchases your property, the bank that they use, will order an appraisal prior to closing.
  • June 09 2010
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Profile picture for Randy Mabry
I admit this can help with finding a good listing price, but I would rather my seller get a home inspection to determine problem areas before the first showing occurs.   I recommend that my sellers fix or address every issue ASAP.  This makes the home more marketable and prevents potential deal breakers or money losses late in the selling process.  IMHO.
  • June 10 2010
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