Looking to Buy Soon - Should I Get Appraisal of My Home First?

Updated on August 27, 2010
C.C. asks from Crown Point, IN
11 answers

With the interest rates at an all time low am thinking about getting a new house. Am thinking of finding my "dream" home and then hopefully sell mine and get enough to put a good down payment on the new house. Should I get my home appraised first before I REALLY start looking? Will it cost me anything? Should I go thru different realtors and get different appraisals? If so, how do I go about doing that?

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answers from Chicago on

I would definitely have a couple of realtors give you their market analysis. this is not the same as a certified appraisal. Plus, you might want to consider hiring a home inspector to point out the things that you will definitely have to fix. you might want to start some of those before putting the house on the market.

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answers from Denver on

I'm a realtor.

Appraisals are typically done at the behest of a bank who will be loaning on a property. Appraisers are under a lot of pressure to come up with 'worst case' estimates on homes and consequently and appraisal will tend to be lower than market value. They will cost roughly $450.

CMA, competitive market assessments are put together by Realtor to give you an accurate picture of what similar style homes are selling for, how long it will take to sell at "best case" and "worst case" scenarios, whether concessions are involved (when the seller pays closing costs, etc) and whether your home needs any six ups to be truly salable.

My advice is to call a Realtor -or 3- and get a feel for what your home is worth on the competitive market. GL! No need to put out any money if you don't need to :)

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answers from Chicago on

NO don't get an appraisal, this is done when a buyer puts an offer on your house & they pay for it. When you find a Realtor they will give you a list of homes similar to yours & price it that way. Interview at least 3 realtors & choose the one that seems to fit your personality, has a strong sense of work ethic, good track record, motivated, & HONEST. When I have interviewed realtors I told them I am looking for someone to be completely honest with me. I have also had realtors take me to check out my competition.

I would not suggest finding your dream home until you have sold your home & maybe consider not looking until you have actually handed over the keys to the new buyer. I have been a title closer for several years & have seen lots of sales blow up right at the closing table for multiple reasons. If you found your dream home & haven't even put your home up for sale or if it is up for sale & hasn't sold then you are going to have too many emotions & want to put an offer on the dream home & that could make for a big mess financially.

A lot of buyers are having to go with an FHA loan so I would suggest when you find a Realtor to have them order an FHA inspection on your home. FHA guidelines are crazy so it would be best to have an inspection done ASAP so that you can take care of any possible problems before someone puts an offer in on your home.

If you are serious about buying your dream home then tell your realtor that you want to price it to sell but be competitive too. Good luck

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answers from Charlotte on

Talk to people in your neighborhood or closeby about what good realtors they have encountered. Ask them what they like or dislike in a realtor. Gather some names. Then call and ask for meetings. Take notes of what they say you should do to get your house up to snuff in order to sell. Then ask them for "comparables". This is what realtors put together to figure out what to sell your home for. As you know, a house is really only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so they look at comparable house sales in comparable neighborhoods. Comparable square footage, comparable real estate, etc. Don't sign ANYTHING until you CHOOSE a realtor. This is really important.

The comparables are what you need, rather than an appraisal. You CAN pay for an appraisal, but that's traditionally what the BUYER pays for after putting a deposit down on a house; they would put a contingency on their offer on your house appraising for enough so that they can qualify for the mortgage. If you got an appraisal on the house you want to sell, the buyer wouldn't accept your appraisal anyway, to be honest. They will pay for their own.

The best way to learn this "system" is to interview AT LEAST three real estate brokers. They will tell you what to do. If there are differences between what they say, ask why. It's okay to ask questions. It's smart to ask questions. If they pass you off, you know you don't want that realtor. You should have at least 3 comparables to look at.

Try not to get "hooked" by a realtor who pushes for you to sell for a big price - that's a bad idea in this housing market. You could end up with your house on the market for a long time, and have to drop and drop and drop the price because you listed it for too much at the beginning. Try to be realistic. Also, DON'T buy a house without your own contingency to sell your house first. Two house payments is killer!

I've never been a realtor, but I've bought and sold many houses, moving around with my husband for his various job changes. I hope this helps!



answers from Johnstown on

Yes, you should get your appraisal first...especially with the housing market being a buyer's market now, unless you already have the money to put down on a new one. You will have to pay for your appraisal, yes. In my area they are about $400. I would also suggest that you talk to a realtor. In my state, you can only deal with one realtor--they make you sign a contract. I'm not sure about yours. Also, our own personal experience over here makes me want to suggest that you also get your own home on the market ASAP as well because you could be waiting for a buyer of your current home for up to years.



answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, you should get your current house appraised - a good realtor can help you do that. And you should get pre-approved for a new mortgage. Mortgages are harder to come by now, more rules apply to avoid the high number of defaults that have been happening.



answers from Chicago on

I'm not sure how the housing market is in your area, but in general there is a large backlog of housing available on the market. Counting on the proceeds of your current house to put a down payment on the new one may not work as you expect right now. I would check to see how the market is in your area and if you can even find a realtor to represent your home.



answers from Chicago on

You can get your home appraised. An actual appraisal would run between $300 and $500. This could actually help sell your home. However, most people have a realtor give them market comparisons to price their home and this is part of the service paid for once the home is sold. You should interview a minimum of 3 realtors before deciding who to go with.



answers from New York on

Typically an apprasial isn't done by the seller when they choose to sell their home. However, it's not a bad idea. It could be helpful in providing you with any repairs that need to be done, and there would be no surprises at closing time. We paid $300, 15 years ago. How long have you owned your home? Check to see the appraisal cost when you purchased the house.

I've never sold a house, but I would start by calling a realator. They can tell you what they beleive would be a listing price for your home by comparing it to similar homes in your area Then you can deduct fees, what you owe on your current mortgage, and that will give you a good idea of what you'll have for a down payment.

If your planning on using the proceeds from your current house sale as a downpayment on a new home, then you would need to sell your house first. Also, before looking for a new home, you should get preapproved for a mortgage, that way you'll know what price range your new house should fall in.



answers from Chicago on

Before you do anything, go to www.annualcreditreport.com and make sure there are no mistakes on your credit report. It can take 30 days for errors to be corrected and it can cost you a heck of a lot of money if you let your bank pull the report especially if it has errors.

There is no charge for going to that website, just make sure you have a printer and you print your reports from all 3 credit reporting agencies. If you have a dispute, you can dispute it on line.

Good luck.



answers from Austin on

You can only contract with one realtor. But. You can "interview" several. They should come over with what they feel your home could sell for. Keep in mind that they inflate it a little. I would wait to start looking until after you sell your home. The interest rates may be lower, but there are firmer lending rules now for buyers. It's harder for them to get a loan than it was a few years ago. So your pool of people who could buy your home has shrunk considerably.

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