Dear Monica: I want to sell my house and wonder if I should get a standard appraisal, such as one would get if getting a loan on a property. Would this be the best way to know how to price my home? Kathy H.
Dear Kathy: The best way to know where to price your home would not be to hire a fee appraiser, but rather to get one or more opinions from a good agent or agents who are very active in your area. You need to know current market information, as well as recent sales of comparable properties. More than that, a good agent can tell you how the market is doing that week, such as how many offers a particular property received, what buyers are thinking, and what is coming on the market that might compete with your property.
A fee appraisal will only give you information about closed sales, which is helpful but doesn’t help you predict what the current market response to your property will be. There are also online resources that attempt to tell you what your home is worth based on data of closed sales. These estimates are very general and are influenced by algorithms rather than experience. Thus they are less reliable than other valuations.