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Appraisals Are A Buyer's Expense... Or Are They?

Apr 23, 2008
Whether selling your old home place, a castle on the Rhine, or one of those mountain condos you bought on a whim on that Colorado ski vacation, you'll run into the same problem regardless of the location: the person who buys your home is going to be worried about what it is really worth. No matter what you think of the fairness of your price, that's how it goes. You have to expect people will want to be careful with such a large sum of money.

Buyers can't get much better assurance than an uninterested third party certifying your home's value.

Because real estate involves such a significant amount of money, sellers can boost their home's likelihood of selling by getting the opinion of real estate appraisers. Appraisers are third party real estate experts who do not have a vested interest in the transaction. Their job is to document an unbiased estimate of the value of the home. An advance appraisal can help you get top dollar for your home because of how that appraisal will make the buyer feel about the home's true value.

During the inspection of the home, the real estate appraiser evaluates the quality of the home's construction, the condition of the total property, and to what extent the home may be outdated in comparison with other homes that have sold. They research the entire property by taking observations and searching public records for the details of other properties, past sales and leases, and any other pertinent transactions.

If used properly, an advance home appraisal is a tangible asset that is part of the home, but it loses its value to the seller as soon as the home is sold. Why not offer that appraisal to the buyer? The borrower would save $250 to $500 (or even more), which, in turn, can help you increase your odds of putting a deal together in the first place. In addition to reassuring the purchaser of the worth of the home, you can expect to be able to get the price of your appraisal paid back by simply transferring it to the buyer. In addition to cutting down some of the buyer's expenses, you also guarantee that your home will appraise, because if the borrower hires their own appraiser, there's a risk that a different appraiser will think the home isn't worth what they're paying. Opinions, even professional opinions backed up by analysis, are like that.

Discuss in advance with the appraiser to make sure he/she will transfer the appraisal to the new purchaser.

For a very small charge, usually $25 to $50, you can probably have the appraisal transferred to the new owner -- if you ask about it ahead of time. In today's highly competitive real estate market, sellers really have to use every tool possible to make sure their deal makes it to the closing table. Getting an advance home appraisal is a good, inexpensive incentive you can throw into the deal to show your good faith and cooperative spirit as a seller. It not only raises the purchaser's level of trust in dealing with you, but it might put a few more dollars in your pocket to boot!
About the Author
Joel recommends using AutomatedHomefinder.com to search for Colorado real estate. Sign up now and receive a free report entitled "Buying a home without an agent."
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