Do You Actually Need a Pre-Listing Appraisal?

Listing a home for sale is often the largest business transaction most people make. After years of maintaining the residence, creating fond memories, and making valuable upgrades many find that they can come out of the sale with some serious cash.

However, many wonder how exactly to price their home. Some suggest that the sales price should be the market value. Others suggest getting a pre-listing appraisal, which normally costs anywhere from $300-500 for the average home.

The short answer is that either of the above are fine, but often-times sellers don’t need to spend their money on getting an appraisal, particularly when there are free methods by which to get the proper listing price.

This is done by taking comparative values (comps) from within the neighborhood.

Getting Neighborhood Comps

A realtor creates a market analysis of a neighborhood and makes a fair comparison. For example, if you’re in San Marcos and selling a typical San Marcos-style home you can draw recent sales data of similar homes in the same area. It’s important to take into account upgrades and updates made to the home, such as a new kitchen, adding a dormer, etc. Experienced agents can get these numbers, and it’s rare that the numbers don’t match up (or come close to) a home appraisal.

Is There a Time to Ever Get a Pre-Listing Appraisal?

If you’re listing your property as “for sale by owner,” it’s a good idea to get an appraisal. However, it’s important to keep the following in mind: This is where sellers often fall into the trap of thinking they are saving money. By not wanting to make the investment into having an agent represent them they often end up spending some serious cash… and time. Many who have completed a for-sale-by-owner transaction and have decided to never go it alone again. Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle.

Other Advice

Considering a pre-listing appraisal shows that sellers are on the right track. Even if it’s not the best path to take, it shows diligence.

Rather than spend unnecessary funds when accurate comps are available sellers need to be thinking beyond the sale. These are the steps to be taken after the transaction is complete. For example, is all of the cash from the transaction going to be used for the purchase of another home? Will the next home be a rental until something better comes along?

These are important steps to take in the process of listing a property, and should be considered. If you’re looking to sell a home in San Marcos, Texas, or the surrounding area, be sure to contact The Damron Group REALTORS® to discuss your needs and goals. We’d love to work with you and get your house sold as quickly as possible, for the best price possible.

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