Brother looking to buy our mother's So. Boston home - should we get an appraiser or real estate person to see what they think it's worth?

Asked by karenmcgee99, Sarasota, FL Fri Feb 15, 2013

My mother is looking to sell her single family home in So. Boston. It has all hardwood floors, 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, small front yard, good size backyard, basement, and 2 parking spaces in the drive way and it's on a quiet street a couple of blocks from the beach. My brother has been living there for quite some time and now that my mom wants to sell he is saying he's interested in buying. He wants to pay $400,000 but I am thinking it's worth a lot more then that. I don't want to see my mom get the short end of the stick. My brother is saying he is going to try to get pre-approved today and call some independent appraisers to look at the house. Is this the correct route to go or should we have a realtor look at it as well?

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Endre Barath, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Mar 6, 2014
Any time some one wants to sell they should have the right information, if you do not want to spend a few hundred dollars for an independent appraiser then at the minimum get a couple of knowledgeable Realtors to give you a fair market value. Then at least the decision what to sell it for becomes from a position of strength.

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway
Beverly Hills, CA
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notmyrealema…, Renter, Boston, MA
Sun Mar 2, 2014
I would recommend getting more than one appraisal. I had my home in S. Boston appraised twice within a year and the difference between the appraisals was $275,000! Also, for free Google "Boston Tax Accessor Database" and you can check to see what the City's appraisal is. The property is definitely worth at least what the City appraisal is. I'd also talk to a few brokers and ask for a market analysis (just say your mom is thinking of selling, but not sure yet).
Once you have all these numbers you can average them and decide what's a fair deal. Btw, parking in S. Boston adds almost $50K per spot. Good luck!
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Sat Feb 16, 2013
If you have a friend in real estate that would be willing to do a free CMA for you -which will tell you what current market value is for the home - i would also do that. No harm in getting both done. If anything it will give you a better value range.

If you want, we would be happy to do a CMA for you no strings attached or cost. Give us a call anytime.
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
617 848 5407 x701
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Meri Galstian, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Yes, an appraiser will determine the value of the property and a real estate agent will determine market price. It is up to your mother to decide whether she wants to sell at a discounted price to your brother or to get top dollar.

Best of luck to you!

Meri Galstian
Boston Luxury Residential
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Thaddeus Kuz…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
I agree with the notion that a paid appraisal service would be the best best.
I also believe that there could be a bit of a discrepancy of the offering price, but
at the end of the day, family can often get a different price than market.

It would not hurt for you to contact a local agent as well to go over the CMA in the neighborhood.


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CH Naamad, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
You may not need a real estate agent, but if your brother is financing, the bank will utilize the services of an appraiser.
kind regards,
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Mario Pavli, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
I would def. get an appraiser to evaluate the house, it's best to figure out the house price vs. guessing it. Once you get a quote than the family can decide on the price that you would want to sell it for.

Best Of Luck
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Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Yes. So that you and your family members don't find themselves second-guessing your decision for years and years... have an appraiser come out and give you an evaluation.

You don't have to force him to buy it for the appraised price... you might choose to give him a slight discount. But at least you'd know the true value.
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Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Hi Karen,
An appraiser will give you the most accurate current value of the property but you do pay for this service to receive the appraiser's report. A local real estate agent will perform a "Comparative Market Analysis" which shows what similar homes have sold for recently in the neighborhood in order to determine what the value might be. There is no cost involved for this service. Both the appraiser and the agent will be looking at the same data so it's up to you to decide.

Best wishes!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
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Michael Vera…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Hi Karen, I am a broker and live in S. Boston. I am in the market for a similar property myself. Without seeing the condition of the house, the attributes would indicate your brother is about $75-100K off. If your mother is open to selling to anyone besides your brother please contact me.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Feb 15, 2013
It depends what your mother wants to get out of it, if she wants to let your brokther have a great deal to help him out or indeed wants market price than you should get a licensed appraiser for the true market value.
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Michael Pall…, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Hi Karen,

I think that getting the opinion of a licensed appraiser is the best way to go.

While I don't want to discount the value of having a real estate agent evaluate the property, the safest/easiest means of getting the property's value is via an appraiser familiar with South Boston properties. Buying or selling a home within the same family can be emotionally trying so any steps you can take to make the pricing opinion as objective as possible is best.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any further advice during this process. You can reach me directly at (617) 899-3162 or via my website

And good luck to you and your brother.
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