Profile picture for user4947829

Should you get an appraisal of your house before you put it on the market?

I want to price the house realistically and not be surprised with the buyer's appraiser drastically valuing the house under what I'm asking.
  • October 05 2012 - McKinney
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Answers (11)

It depends, if there are enough recent activities in the last 3-6 month then CMA from a Realtor showing you homes that have sold that are comparable to your home will save you money, but if there is no homes to  compare or no activity recently or the property is so unique I would suggest getting an appraisal.
  • October 24 2014
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CMA from an agent is better and free. Appraisals are primarily tools for a lender to discern the value of things or to find a specialist who can make professional reports on unconventional real property like land.
  • October 24 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
No. Getting several CMAs and comparing the comps they used generally gets you close enough for accurate pricing. Don't need to pay for an appraisal. The market will let you know if you're priced too high or too low.
  • October 24 2014
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You don't have to but if you want you could certainly do so. Your listing agent should be able to to give you comps for the neighborhood unless if your neighborhood is unique, no comps etc. Bare in mind that an appraisal is an opinion of value and sometimes you see different values on the same property.
  • October 24 2014
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
My answer is yes and no. 

If you are going to market your home without a Realtor I'd suggest getting an appraisal. 

I also agree with Vince that there are certain Realtors who will give you a CMA designed to snag your listing.  Pick 4 Realtors to interview.  Avoid a friend of a friend.  Pick 4 people who see actively advertising and selling in your area.

If 3 of the 4 are within a few thousand of each other and one is higher - you know which one is trying to snag your listing.  Don't pick the one who tells you what you want to hear.

I also agree with Amanda.  Getting an appraisal is paying for one persons opinion.  Yes appraisers are highly trained and licensed.  Some by nature are conversative others are a little more lenient.  Not to say either one is wrong.  The one the bank users may have a different opinion from the one you used.

In most instances appraisers can only use comps that are 3-6 months old.  If it takes 6 months to find a buyer for your home the market could have swung lower or higher by the time the next appraisal is done.
  • October 07 2012
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Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

I would say, it depends.  If your house is unique and hard to comp out, yes.  If it is similar to others making it easy to comp out, no.

Not all appraisals will end up the same anyway. :-(

Hope we helped, good luck!
  • October 06 2012
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I would say yes only if you are in a neighborhood where the comps are all over the place and if your house has way more upgrades than other homes surrounding you.

Otherwise, I think it's a waste of money.  Get a knowledgeable Realtor to show you the comps and together decide on a listing price.

Naima
  • October 06 2012
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Profile picture for amandathomas
Hi,

Getting an appraisal performed before selling will not insure you against a bad appraisal in a purchase transaction.

A buyer's lender will still order their own appraisal (they cannot use yours), and every appraisal event is subject to the opinion and errors of the individual appraiser performing the service.

You may still have a fight on your hands if the buyer's appraiser includes inappropriate homes to compare yours to -- or commits an error on measuring your square footage.

You also run the risk of having these same errors happen on the appraisal you receive to set your list price! 

The only time I recommend a pre-listing appraisal is in the absence of comps (e.g., a very unique property (e.g. dome home -- or a rural property where less than 3 sales have occurred in the past year), or when there has been a change in the square footage of a home that isn't accounted for on tax records. In the case of a second, the option of having a square-footage appraisal is less costly than a price appraisal.

The best defense is to make sure your listing agent is familiar with your local area and has an understanding of how to identify appraisal errors and contest those should a problem arise. Interview carefully.
  • October 06 2012
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Yes, its a good idea. The only down side is the cost. Its usually better than a CMA since a Realtor usually is interested in listing your home, not always a completely unbiased third party. (I know since I am both). You pay the appraiser for honesty, and their expertise, so shop around for a local appraiser who has been doing it for a while.

Here is a list of appraisers nationally. You are looking for an AL or AR appraiser for a home appraisal. Shop around for an affordable price also, there is no set price for an appraisal for listing purposes.

  • October 05 2012
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It is definitely a good idea to get an appraisal before you list your home.  This way you are clear about how much your home is worth, and you can defend your list price!

Sheri Negri
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

  • October 05 2012
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Take a look at this thread from earlier today.  The conclusion seems to be yes.
  • October 05 2012
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