Asked by Maureen Owen, Glenolden, PA Tue Mar 26, 2013

Townhouse in Glenolden,Pa are listed anywhere from a low of $87,500 to a high of $139,000. We paid to have the house appraised and it came back $75,000. Now, my brother thinks he can buy the house for $75,000, when all it needs is a new garage door and maybe minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades.Zip code 19036

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Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Hi Maureen.

List price and sale price are usually different.
"All it needs" should be mentioned in the appraisal.
"All it needs" is usally a point of disagreement between the buyer and the seller.
Do you have a 3rd party for mediation?

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1 vote
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Wed Mar 27, 2013
It would be difficult for me to understand that appraisal given the prices mentioned above. of course what these Townhomes actually sold for in the past(last 3 sales in the 6-12 month range) is much more important.
1 vote
Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Wed Mar 27, 2013
An appraisal is the value of that appraiser on that given day. Hopefully there are good comparables to choose from and if so, then all the appraisals should be close to one another.

As to the garage door, the value would be small and certainly not enough to discount the home from 139,000 to 75000. There is nothing that is minor when it comes to upgrades of kitchens and baths, as you are suppose to bring things up to code if they are not already.

If you feel that by fixing the garage door and the "minor" upgrades will improve your home value drastically then do them first.

My recommendation as a certified appraiser and real estate broker, put the home on the market and give your brother a first right of refusal or do as Toni suggest below as she is correct that the time, money and stress will not be worth it.
1 vote
Toni Nicholas, Agent, Burlington, NC
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Appraisals are available to other appraisals and they can, and do, affect home values within usually a six month time period. If a seller thinks that an appraisal is not accurate, the owner can request a review - usually done by yet another appraiser with more experience. If an owner wants an accurate appraisal, one that is done by a Lic. professional appraiser is the best way to go as he or she is paid for their services. If you are looking for a free market analysis, which may not be accurate, then use a professional real estate agent or broker. But, there will be an expectation that you will be listing with the agent or broker who has provided a service for "free." If you're thinking of selling in the near future, you may also consider hiring a professional home inspector. The Home Inspection report can help you identify things that "need" to be repaired along with items that "should" be repaired, and you'll get a better sense of items that "would be nice" to have repaired as well. Not only can you address the items that will be necessary for a buyer's bank to allow the sale, but, you'd have a head's up in terms of time and money needed for the repairs.

As for the specific question related to cost of a new garage door and "minor" upgrades to kitchen and bath, I think that a difference of only 12,500 is an absolute bargain when involving the two most expensive rooms of a house - kitchen and bath. If you can get these items done for much less, then you should do so because it will raise the value of your home. Otherwise, reducing the price by 12,500 for those repairs and upgrades is minimal. I've seen buyers offer much less due to just the stress of having to "deal with" repairs and/or upgrades. I've seen buyers who would rather spend upwards of $20,000 and more just to avoid painting one room.'s amazing how many people just won't lift a finger and would rather pay....So, if the appraiser has only reduced it by that much and has based the opinion on those repairs and upgrades, I think you should be grateful. You can either sell it to your brother and let him put in some sweat equity, or repair the property yourselves for a higher valuation. The bottom line here is this - there is a value for labor and the stress of repairs, and you should not discount or minimize the value of each.

Good Luck!
1 vote
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