An appraiser can't give you any of the advice you are looking for like a good Realtor can.
They both have access to the same data, only Realtors are probably going to be more plugged in to what is really going on in the market right now.
I would suggest speaking to a Realtor, and if you are hellbent on spending $400 spend it on a private inspection so you can troubleshoot any potential areas of concern and tackle them now. It won't necessarily increase the price of your condo, but it may help it from decreasing.
2) Realtor (me!) no need to spend money for something you can get without spending. Send me the exact address and i'll put a a CMA together for you.
3) Maybe but maybe not. Send me a few pics when you send me the address. When you are closer to selling, guage the market conditions at that time before improving.
Prices are rising in Andersonville. Your best bet is to work with a broker to determine what the property is worth. Do not count on the prices going up like they did in the late 90's through 2006.
Get a Realtor to give you a CMA. Build the relationship now, so when you sell, you already have your go to expert.
Let me know if you need any help.
I would wait until April or May, the peak of the sales season to list the property. You do not want to burn market time during the slower season. Prices tend to adjust up in the spring.
1) If you can afford the loans, assessments, taxes other expenses, etc then holding may be the way to go
2) A CMA from a qualified Realtor will give you enough info to help make a decision
3) Improvements? - it all depends on what your building and neighborhood are selling for. If you can upgrade the unit at minimal cost, then go for it.
Should you need any help, feel free to contact me.
Most improvements do not add more than the cost of them if you have to pay retail prices, but I cannot speak beyond that without seeing the place.
How much are the homes that you and your brother are looking at? If you plan on moving to the fields near the Wisconsin border, you'll be in great shape. If you want to stay in the Andersonville or Lincoln Square area, you might want to hold on to your place.
On average, those three flat and six flat buildings that were converted to condos over the last 10-15 years in the Andersonville area will get you around $400k for the size place you are talking. Some will go for $450k, and sometimes you can pick it up around $350k. An experienced local agent will help you determine the price based on your condition.
You are going to have realtor fees and closing costs change the amount you owe by another $20k. Don't forget that. There is a reason my brethren drive nice Mercedes.
If you have thee typical unit in the neighborhood, you may get $50,000 each.
You'll have to determine what you mean by 'sizeable'. I know a local sandwich shop that claims to have big sandwiches, but compared to a typical New York deli sandwich, it looks like an Anorexic Special.
If you don't need the money now, you might consider renting as rents are solid in the area (you'll get at least $2200-2500 for this size condo), and the neighborhood is only going one direction in price. And it ain't toward Gary.
The appraiser question is a no brainer....work with somebody who actually sells and buys these properties, not some rump from Marengo who drives into the city once a week, and then uses stats rather than real work knowledge to determine a price.
Spend your money on inexpensive but tasteful looking items that help your place show well. Again, somebody will experience will point you in the right direction. Or one of the fine lads from the furniture shops on Clark Street.
As a last resort, consider turning your place into a Bed and Breakfast for traveling Trulia aficionados who want to check out the Andersonville neighborhood, local style.
Our home was gutted in 1999 and our parents were the first to occupy it after. When I say improvements, I'm taking about painting, fixing what needs to be fixed, and replacing the dishwasher that's currently broken. The vanities in our bathrooms are builder-level, 1999 vanities, They're not bad, but if I found something nicer for a reasonable amount, I'd consider switching them out.
This sounds pretty standards, yes?