My Secret Weapon for getting homes sold in this market!
Get an appraisal before you sell!One of my secret weapons in this difficult market right now is to ask my sellers to obtain a pre-listing appraisal
The majority of the appraisals are running between $350.00 to $500.00. I have two appraisers that I like to recommend, but a client can use any appraiser that they feel is qualified.
There are many benefits of using an appraisal in this market. There is not a lot of wasted market time. When an agent or seller guesses at the price, the up and down price game usually follows. Playing the lowering the price game over and over again makes a seller question your credentials and your experience. The price may need to be adjusted if there are multiple sales presenting lower. An accurate appraisal gets the price very close to what the actually price will be at closing. Is should not be necessary to make frequent adjustments. I like having appraisals because you get the correct square footage verified. In some cases, sellers use the tax record, which can be inaccurate. Why leave money on the table? Your home may be larger than the taxing authority shows on record.
When offers come in, having an appraisal in your pocket is really good ammunition. Many buyer’s agents feel that in order to prove their worth as a good buyer’s agent, they have to lowball the offer and try to get their buyer the best deal that they can. The high number of foreclosures and short sales are adding to this difficulty. We are seeing that there are a lot of low offers coming to the sellers at this time. I recently had a situation where I had an appraisal done on a property that appraised for $184,000. I got an offer of $174,000 and the buyer’s agent asked the seller to pay $7,000 in closing cost. Well, for that price range, asking $17,000 off the value is a pretty big reduction! I called the agent that submitted the offer and asked him if he had reviewed the appraisal that I had posted online. He had not taken the time to do so. The appraisal was there, but he had not shared the appraisal with his buyer. I mentioned that the seller is unwilling to take this low offer. I suggested that he take the time to look at the appraisal that was posted. Look at the comparable sales and then share them with your buyer.
The agent’s comment was very interesting. He said “I did not get that value”. “I came up with a much lower price, and I suggested and advised my buyer to offer the lower price”. I shared my thoughts with him as well. “I can appreciate that, but we do have the appraisal, it has been recently done, and you can actually take that appraisal to the lender and get a loan with it! Please go back to your buyer, share the comps, share the appraisal, and see if we can’t work out a deal”. The agent did just that! I believe that in my mind the buyer wasafraid to pay our price because he was afraid he was paying too much. Since the appraisal was available, he felt comfortable enough to go forward and we were able to work out a contract. I really feel like if we had not been able to have that appraisal, it would’ve been that agent’s opinion against mine and the seller’s opinion. It is very likely that the price gap would never have been closed. Another advantage of an appraisal is the ability to post on the MLS. Agents and buyers can refer to it in a remarks section. “This property has recently been appraised for __________. The public and the agents can go online and see that document.
I would rather know the value up front than wait until the buyer gets the appraisal at the end of the loan process. It is so inconvenient for sellers to keep the home clean, enduring a long market time and finally getting a buyer that’s willing to pay an acceptable price, only to find out that it does not appraise for contract price. I would rather know up front if it’s not going to appraise. It is important so the seller can go forward with their plans! Many times I hear “I don’t want to sell my home unless I can get “X “amount of money out of it from the sale. A seller cannot price the property based on what they want to “net”. The price should be based on what has sold around your property.
Appraisers will take into consideration the actual amenities in your property. They will consider the location, the condition, the landscaping, the trim, the granite and all the pgrades. Some upper end amenities such as hardwood floors, coiffered ceilings, electronics and media equipment will call for large adjustments. There are so many different things that can add value or decrease value. An appraiser is going to give you actual value and will not price your home by raw square footage. Many agents do price properties by the footage. There may be similar properties with similar footage, but if the footage is similar, that does not mean the finish out and amenities are the same! Location is a big factor. A wooded lot versus a sterile lot is important. Water features add great value. Golf lots also add a tremendous value compared to lots that are not on the course. The majority of the properties get their best activity in the first 45 days. Pricing the property right is key! Properties priced properly at the beginning gives you a jump start and gives you theopportunity to have an edge over those listings who are playing the price game.
If you have any questions about real estate, please give me a call at 817-994-7152, or e-mail with your questions at Sharon@TeamHodnett.com
Remember, time kills all deals.
My Secret Weapon for getting homes sold in this market!