House Calls: How Long to Wait
Be prepared for the following:
--Everything will take longer than expected.
--Everything will cost more than expected.
--The weather will turn uncooperative.
--Changing your mind about anything will be surprisingly expensive.
--You're going to love your new home.
Getting an Appraisal
Dear Edith: Regarding the question of selling a home to a family member and "the best way to set a fair market value," I was shocked that you did not advise getting an appraisal! Yes, a Realtor can complete a market analysis, but the best way is to get an appraisal from a certified real estate appraiser. As a residential appraiser of over 30 years, I have done many market-value appraisals for selling purposes. The Realtor opinion may or may not be free, but it would be well worth the money to get a professional appraisal. It protects both the buyer and the seller, especially when they are family members. -- R. L.
Answer: Thanks for your opinion. I realize you are a certified professional, and I do remember the old saying "If it's free, it's not an appraisal."
I still feel that experienced neighborhood brokers are probably qualified to furnish useful opinions of market value. I did suggest consulting more than one and averaging the estimates. Or, if the homeowner were to hire a licensed appraiser like yourself, an inexpensive one-page appraisal would also be sufficient, rather than an elaborate study.