Should I pay for an appraisal before I sell or buy a home?
Our appraisal clients typically decide to pay for an appraisal if they want to be sure they are getting an accurate, unbiased and independent valuation that is free from any conflicts of interest or future commitments. However, appraisals can be expensive and there are other options.
There are many websites that will provide you with an estimate of value for free including Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and many others. In our opinion, there are two significant downfalls to using these sites. 1) They typically collect your contact information to resell or exploit for potential sales calls. 2) They can vary widely in their accuracy. Will you really be confident that their estimates are a good basis for one of the largest asset transactions of your life?
You can also typically get Realtors to come to your home and they will provide you with their opinion of your home's value. Realtors typically will provide this service for free because they want to be your listing agent.
It can be difficult to determine a fair price when preparing to sell your home. Market conditions can be fluid in South Florida, and especially in a growing area like Palm Beach County. We often see situations where even an experienced listing agent might be unsure of what a home is likely to appraise for. The extensive knowledge that an appraiser brings can benefit all participants to a transaction when the “fair market value” may be unclear. Realtors and homeowners alike have come to trust our organization for accurate and fair market appraisals.