Pre-Listing Appraisal

You have decided to sell your house. You’ve seen the realtor postcards in your mailbox. You’ve checked the neighborhood Facebook page and noted the prices of homes being sold by your neighbors. You think you’ve a good idea of what to list your home for, but your realtor has a different opinion. How do you determine the value of your home? A pre-listing appraisal can help.

The homeowner orders a pre-listing appraisal prior to putting their home on the market. The appraiser will exam the property’s condition and quality, measure and calculate the gross living area, and consider recent improvements. The appraiser will then compare your property to similar properties nearby that were recently sold and analyze market data to determine a fair market value for your property.

Reasons to Get a Pre-Listing Appraisal:

Below are a few of the reasons sellers may want a home valuation before listing their home on the market

It’s not unusual for homeowners to over estimate the value of their property because of their emotional investment in it. An appraiser does not have emotional ties to the property and can provide an expert neutral opinion.

Offer reassurance that you chose a competitive listing price.
A pre-listing appraisal can help you feel confident that you chose a listing price that may help your home not sit on the market too long.

Provide a reality check.
Your emotional investment may alter your perception of the value of your property. As a homeowner, you may also overestimate your return on investment for upgrades and renovations. The expert opinion of a neutral third-party as to the market value of your property can provide a needed reality check.

Homeowners may over-estimate the return on investment for home remodeling projects, renovations, and features they have added such as a home theater system, a pool, or a hot tub.  An appraisal is useful since it helps the seller understand how much of what they spent can be recouped when selling the house. For example, even though you spent $10,000 on a home theater system, the appraiser may only add $5,000 to the value of the house, since that’s what it would be worth to a potential buyer in your market. The value of improvements can vary dramatically by neighborhood and market area. If your home has been on the market for a while, an appraisal can also determine if you have overpriced it.

Unusual Scenarios
Green homes, barndominiums, rural homes, and other unique properties can benefit from a pre-listing appraisal since using comparable properties as a gauge is usually not possible. In these cases, the appraiser will use an alternative appraisal method such as the cost approach to determine how much it would cost to buy the land and build the home today.

Support your position during sales negotiations.
A pre-listing appraisal is an objective, third-party assessment of your property’s value. It can be a powerful negotiation tool during the sales process. Having an appraisal in hand supports the seller’s position during price negotiations and that provides justification as to why the buyer should pay your asking price.

No Recent Comparables
If no properties similar to your home have sold in your neighborhood recently, it can be challenging to determine an appropriate listing price. With 25+ years of experience in the Dallas Fort Worth area, Stafford Appraisals is very familiar with the local market. They know which areas or neighborhoods are comparable to yours and use the sales data for comparable properties to arrive at a value for your home.

Information for Sellers

Thinking of putting your home up for sale? Contact Stafford Appraisals for a thorough and expert appraisal of your home.

Information for Real Estate Agents

Do you have a listing that has sat on the market too long? Would an appraisal support your client’s asking price during negotiations? Contact Stafford Appraisals today and benefit from their 25 year of experience appraising homes in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

What a pre-listing appraisal can’t do.

A pre-listing appraisal is not transferable to the buyer. Even if the pre-listing appraisal is recent it will no replace the need for the buyer’s lender to obtain an appraisal. Since the property is the collateral for the loan that the bank is considering extending to the buyer, the lender will require another appraisal for the loan process.

Guarantee that your house will sell for the appraised value. A pre-listing appraisal is an opinion of value at a specific point of time. Sellers consider a multitude of factors when making an offer. While a pre-listing appraisal can be a valuable part of the listing process, it cannot guarantee that the seller will receive an offer that equals the appraised value.

Common Questions about Pre-Listing Appraisals

Is a Pre-Listing Appraisal Worth It?
The quick answer is maybe. A pre-listing appraisal is ordered by a homeowner before listing their house for sale. The appraiser will exam the property’s condition and quality, measure and calculate the gross living area, and take into account recent improvements. The appraiser will then compare your property to similar properties nearby that were recently sold and analyze market data to determine a fair market value for your house.

Why does the appraised value of my home not match what Zillow says?
Texas is a non-disclosure state which means the sale price of a home is not reported on the deed. Consequently, Zillow does not have access to actual sale prices for homes sold in Texas. The information reported on Zillow for Texas homes is from public records which may or may not be correct. While Zillow is a great tool to learn more about the homes in your neighborhood, in Texas it is not a good way to determine the value of your home.

What will I receive after the appraisal is complete?
It depends on who ordered the appraisal. If the homeowner ordered the appraisal, they own the appraisal report and will receive a copy after the appraisal is complete. If a bank ordered the appraisal, the bank will provide a copy of the appraisal report to the homeowner. Per federal regulations, if the bank ordered the appraisal Stafford Appraisers cannot talk to the homeowner about the appraisal until the bank gives written permission.
Can my pet be in the house during the home appraisal?
Yes, your pet is welcome to be in your home or back yard. However, for their safety and the safety of the appraiser, we ask that you leash or crate them. Please note that placing the pet in the back yard is not an adequate method of confinement since the appraiser will be in the back yard to take photographs and measure the hous

Next Steps

While a pre-listing appraisal is not required to list your house, it may be a worthwhile investment. With over 25 years of experience appraising residential real estate in the Dallas Fort Worth area, Stafford Appraisals is uniquely qualified to provide you with a pre-listing appraisal.

Pre-listing appraisals through Stafford Appraisals typically start at $500. If you only need to verify the square footage of your property and do not need an opinion of value, Stafford Appraisals also offers sketch services that start at $150. Note: All prices are dependent upon complexity and requested turnaround time. 
To get started, please contact us via the Contact form for a free and confidential quote. We will follow up with you to discuss the purpose of the appraisal, how soon you need the appraisal, when we can get access to the property, and the cost of the appraisal. If both parties agree to proceed, we will send you an engagement letter outlining the items discussed. When you return the signed engagement letter, Stafford Appraisals will add your appraisal to our calendar. We accept appraisal orders on a first come, first served basis. A delay in returning the signed engagement letter, may result in you losing your previously discussed appointment to view the property and increase the turnaround time for the appraisal.

Request an Appraisal Quote

Don’t see what you need or have questions? Stafford Appraisals is here to assist you throughout the appraisal process. Contact us today for expert answers to all of your valuation questions.