Five Ways a Pre-Listing Appraisal Can Help You Sell Your Home

Are you about to put your home up for sale?  Are you nervous about the home selling process?  Although selling a home is a huge deal, pricing it correctly doesn’t have to be.  In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a pre-listing appraisal or even a post-listing appraisal can help sellers and Realtors when pricing a home for sale.


Let’s start with a basic definition.  What is a pre-listing appraisal?

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Before you put that For Sale sign in your yard, you’ll need to decide on an asking price.  Whether you’re selling your home yourself or with the help of a Realtor, figuring out the best price is the most important step in the pre-listing process.  A pre-listing appraisal is an estimate of market value completed by an appraiser that will help you make decisions about what your home might sell for, and/or where you should list your home, to achieve your specific profit and timing goals.  The process of inspection, analysis and reporting is similar to a bank-ordered appraisal, although with plenty of room for variation.


So let’s talk about how a pre-listing appraisal can benefit you and get your home sold!


Help for the FSBOs

If you decide to try & sell your home by yourself, without the help of an experienced sales agent, a pre-listing appraisal may be your best asset.  Instead of taking your chances at Zillow, your tax assessment, or what your neighbor sold his home for six months ago, hire someone who can really help you.  Pricing your home on your own without the help of a professional could result in pricing your home too high, or worse – too low.


Help for the Realtor

Most experienced Realtors are great at establishing a reasonable list price.  But sometimes, Realtors need someone who is independent and unbiased to speak into the situation.  Perhaps you and your seller don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. Or maybe you have a super-unique home. Like a geodesic earth berm manufactured home (I really hope that doesn’t even exist!).  Contact an appraiser, who is completely unbiased and will be able to provide a neutral, third-party opinion of value.


Help if the Buyer’s Appraisal Comes in Lower Than Contract Price

Have you ever had an appraisal come back lower than you hoped?  Ever try to fight it? You can try to fight it on your own, but chances are, you could be wasting your time.  But if you had an appraisal that was completed just months before, that could prove to be immensely helpful! Perhaps the buyer’s appraiser missed a sale that could help your cause.  It would definitely be worth your time to show the buyer’s appraiser the pre-appraisal.


Help Determining the Correct Square Footage

Unless you’ve contracted with the appraiser to simply complete a drive-by appraisal on your home, the appraiser will come to your home, take photographs, and measure your home.  Having an appraiser measure your home will give you the peace of mind that you aren’t being misleading about your home’s square footage. It will also give you the confidence you need to price your home correctly, as one of the main things you’ll base your list price on is square footage.


Help With Improvements

While the appraiser is at your home, take advantage of their expertise and knowledge of the market.  Pick their brain. Ask them questions. What things will increase your home’s market value? What changes could you make quickly that will allow you to sell your home in the shortest time possible?  An appraiser can help you with these questions, and more!


A word about post-listing appraisals

Pre-listing appraisals can be a great asset to homeowners and Realtors as they prepare a home for sale.  But a post-listing appraisal can be just as helpful. A post-listing appraisal occurs after the home has been listed for sale.  The most common reason for getting a post-listing appraisal is what many parties call “price-improvement”. Perhaps the listing agent and homeowner didn’t agree initially about the list price.  Maybe the home has spent 90 days on the market with no offer, when most homes in the market sell in less than 60 days. An appraiser can come in as a neutral third-party and give an unbiased opinion.  It may just prove to be the help you need as a Realtor (or homeowner for that matter) to discuss lowering the price.


So whether you’re starting out or frustrated with the selling process, an appraiser can be a very helpful and valuable tool.  Contact an appraiser today to see how they can help you!



Helping homeowners navigate the appraisal process,

Ryan Bays, SRA, AI-RRS

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