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Do You Need an Appraisal Before Selling?
November 1st, 2011 9:51 AM
I read Alan Heaven's article in the Philadelphia Inquirer this Sunday.  He has a reader who wondered if he should get an appraisal before he lists his house for sale.  Alan doesn't think it is necessary.  I would agree with Alan if you live in a "cookie cutter" house, like a row home in the city, or a tract house in the suburbs.  I often get phone calls from people looking for an appraiser to assist them in determining a potential sale price.  While I like to make a living like the next guy, what I tell people is that a real estate agent, or two, or three, can help them.  Real estate agents understand that part of obtaining a listing includes helping people price their home.  Agents also understand that sellers will interview other agents, and that they may not get the listing.  I then give the caller the name of a few real estate agents in their area.  If on the other hand (and this is where I disagree with Alan Heavens), the caller has a unique property then I suggest that an appraisal will be their best bet.  The last thing a seller wants is to list their home with a too high asking price, which then causes the house to not sell and sit too long on the market.  Be wary of the agent who tells you to list your house for say, $500,000 with the intention of selling it for $400,000.  Human nature dictates that nobody wants to offer $100,000 under the asking price (unless you are in the million dollar plus price range).  It's not the norm.  I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it doesn't happen often.  So, Mr. Heavens, don't be so quick to tell people to dismiss getting an appraisal before listing their home for sale.  An appraiser does not have a vested interest in selling the house like a real estate agent does.  One will get a fair, unbiased estimate of market value that will assist in one's decisions.  Now that's priceless.

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Posted by Maureen Fox on November 1st, 2011 9:51 AMPost a Comment

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