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Get Your Home Appraised Before Listing

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By : Carlos Montes    99 or more times read
Whether the real estate market is hot, cold or some lukewarm level in between, it is a good idea to pay for an appraisal before you put your home on the market.

This process may even be a wake-up call. Is your house worth what you expected? Will you have to lower your asking price to be competitive in your neighborhood? If it takes a long time to sell your home because you have set the price higher than the market will bear, it may decrease in value simply due to the perception that something is wrong with the property.

Go back to the beginning: Find a copy of the appraisal that was done when you bought the home. This will give comparisons of what flaws existed, if any, at the time of purchase and if the problems have been resolved.

Get credentials: Ask your appraiser if he or she is a member of an accredited association, such as the MAI (Member Appraisal Institute) or ASA (American Society of Appraisers) - an international organization. Check out at least two appraisers before choosing the person you would like to hire.

Know your limits: Having a firm figure on your home's value, through your own pre-sale appraisal, will give you a better handle on negotiations with buyers once your house goes on the market.

Don't guess: Assuming you know how much your home is worth, because Joe Bloe down the road got a specific amount for his house, is not a smart way to proceed. At the very least, speak to a realtor before you list your property to engage his or her expertise in your local market.

Check it all: Your appraisal should also include aspects outside of your home. What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Is it close to schools? Have there been improvements to local transportation in recent years?

Return on investment: The money invested for a pre-sale appraisal will be worthwhile as it will save time if you decide to go ahead with your plans. It could generate a faster sale as well.

What is included: In addition to the value of the home, knowing what you will include with the sale, such as major appliances, will also need to be included for an appraised price. This may be a point of negotiation once a transaction begins, but knowing the value ahead of time will give you more bargaining power in order to get the price you want.
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