Home Selling in Fort Worth>Question Details

House Hunter, Home Buyer in Fort Worth, TX

Is it worth it to hire an appraiser to find lost square footage and should you have your home appraised before putting it on the market?

Asked by House Hunter, Fort Worth, TX Mon Aug 2, 2010

My home was built in the early '80's so I am not sure there is any sq ft space to be found? I have been told even a few square feet can help in selling. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Bruce Lynn’s answer
I rarely see anyone do this, but not a bad idea....maybe even a good idea.

You might be able to use the appraisal from when you bought the house to see size.
If you are going to hire appraiser to measure house, you might also get the full appraisal for not much more.
Probably depends on price of home and size to think if it is worthwhile. If you are getting 100-$200/sqft in your area, finding just 2-3-4 sqft might make a difference in your price. If you think you can get better than average price for your home, having an appraisal to show buyers and their bank appraiser could also get you a better end result on their appraisal and purchase price.

Certainly something to consider....I would discuss with your realtor.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
My experience has been the appraisers measurements are more accurate than the tax appraisal district. You haven't lost any square footage you just need an accurate measurement.
Should you have it appraised before putting it on the market? That really depends on several factors one being if the realtor you have hired is unfamiliar with the area or the property type. The short answer is... it can't hurt you to get an appraisal done. Will the property ultimately sell for that price? That's a good question.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
There are several issues here. One is that although the formula for finding square footage is in an appraiser's guidelines, each appraiser will, most of the time, come up with a different square footage. Another is that a homeowner prefers to pay taxes on smaller rather than higher square footage. The best bet is to compare the taxable square footage to the square footage the appraiser came up with when YOU bought your house. Always have the realtor put in what the tax rolls show and, if there is a difference in the two, have your realtor put the appraisers square footage in the description with an explanation. In my opinion, a few square feet is not worth the price of approximately $350 and up you would pay for an appraisal since the lender probably won't accept that one and will order a new one anyway.

Sometimes in the early 80's, square footage was based on what was under the roof, not walls-to-walls of today. Additional floors were not calclated at all. That means a significant tax savings through the years, but does not accurately show the air-conditioned square footage. Hope this helps. Sandra Wellborn, Broker, Waltsan Real Estate, 817-845-1251
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
It is really up to you. A good agent should be able to complete a decent CMA of your neighborhood and area the home is located in. That is a decent estimate of what your home may sell for. Now if you are going to be a FSBO or for sale by owner then I believe the more information you have the better off you are for the long haul. Not to mention it could be a good selling point if you list just under the appraised value as people will feel they are getting a deal. Power of numbers on the mind is an amazing thing.

Let me explain, with a true appraisal from a state certified a appraiser will give you a heads up for how much your home is worth or rather its value. It may or may not find the extra Sq ft you are referring to. Keep in mind that the only sq ft that can be included is those that are considered habitable. That said, the value found will prevent any issues later with financing contingencies with a buyer offering a price that is higher then its appraised value. When that happens the buyer can walk away or they can pay the difference as lenders do not like lending money on things that are not worth a % of the loan amount.

So in my opinion the 300-500 dollars spent on the appraisal is money well spent as it provides you with more knowledge about the soon to be future of events regarding your home sale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Great question. First, if you think there is additional square footage that may have been lost in a previous appraisal the cost is only $50 to have them measure and it is worth it. Regarding an appraisal in advance of listing your home for sale, I would say no. Your Realtor has access to recent sales and can base your list price on those. Your appraisal will not be used by the buyers lender anyway so it is truly a waste of your money.

If I may be of assistance, please contact me.
Amy Wright
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 3, 2010
Do a rough measure and if its signicantly more then you may want to consider that option. The kicker is how much sq ftg can you find and is it worth the investment. If you find 100 sq ft and your area of interest sells for 100 a sq ft thats $10,000 but if you only find 10 =s $1000. Should be worth it before you incur additional expenses.

Simple formula length times width ='s: times dollar per sq ft average, minimum and maximum $ per sq ft in your area - should put you in the know.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010

A couple simple things to do:

1. Get a tape measure or get an electronic measuring device and with a friend, measure each room, hallway etc. Write each measurement up on a sheet of paper. Then add them up.

Length x width = sq ft. If you have odd shape rooms. look for a square and work your way in the the total for each room.

If you have a basic house, you can measure the exterior:
1. Floor 1 - 20x25 = 500
2. Floor 2 - 20x25 = 500
Total sq ft: 1,000 sq ft

That's a rough way of doing it.

1. Invite several agents to come over and tell YOU about your house. They should measure it at least to list in MLS or get your comps. That work and a good agent who would want your listing will do.

2. Each agent should also be able to give you a comp (CMA)comparative market analysis.

1 and 2 above are basically what a residential appraisal consists of.

Note, appraisal is only an INDICATION of what your home may be worth in a "normal" market.

If a factory close down the next day and everyone is out of work or sticks their house up for sale - it's meaningless. So are those done for new (or old) subdivisions where the builder is still building YOUR HOUSE.

It's an indicator.

Until you list and sell it- that is what your house is worth.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Confer with the county tax records you taxes are paid based on sq. ft. of your home.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
That is hard to say. A small amount of square footage would not likely make much of a difference in your listing price. I would not waste the money. Square footage is less important these days unless you are possibly comparing in the same subdivision. Even them buyers look at the overall picture like amenities and presentation. You would spend that money better on staging your home as that is what can truly get you top dollar.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
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