When is paying for a home appraisal worth the cost?
Paying for an appraisal will be worth the cost if you need an accurate, unbiased, independent, unconflicted estimate of what your home's value is. However, appraisals typically cost hundreds of dollars and there can sometimes be alternative ways to accomplish your goals.
Approximately half of the calls we receive are from people that actually don't need an appraisal. We often give advice to save people money and we do not push an appraisal when it is overkill for your needs. One of our very first questions is always; What do you need the appraisal for? It is a bit of an intrusive question to ask right off the bat, however the answer will often lead us to provide advice instead of quoting an appraisal service.
You may think that you need an appraisal for Immigration purposes, but if the county tax estimate of value is high enough, you may be able to just print their document off the internet for free. On the other hand, you may have extensively remodeled the interior of your home and you may need an interior appraisal to reflect the remodeled value.
If you just want to get an idea of what it is worth, but you don't want to spend $ for an appraisal, then you should probably just check the free websites like Zillow and Redfin.
It is also free to use the property appraiser's website to do your own research for local recent sales, and you can track local real estate listings through many websites. If you are considering selling you home there are many realtors that will be happy to come to your house and tell you what they think it could sell for at no charge.
Many record requirements (including your tax value) can be met through the excellent online system provided by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser.
We always try to provide the lowest price option that will meet all of your intended goals. If you are unsure of whether to get an appraisal or not, just give us a call and we will figure it out together.