Should I get my condo appraise for $200 first???

Asked by Angie, Chicago, IL Wed Jun 2, 2010

Should I get my condo appraise first before I seek out an real estate agent? I'm planning to sell my condo pretty soon. Is it necessary to get an idea of how much my condo worth before I let an agent appraise it? Do agents charge anything to get it appraise? Or I don't have to pay anything until its sold?

ALSO: Is it a good idea to sell my condo with an agent from a different neighborhood? I've been looking online for an agent. I heard some really good reviews about this one particular real estate agency in Humbolt Park. Any advices would be great! This is my first time. It's so frustrating... so many agents to choose from.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


gabriel palo…, Agent, Pompano Beach, FL
Sun Dec 5, 2010

No you shouldn't - but for the rest of the story contact a realtor that sold one recently. Appraisers are contacting him as we speak.
0 votes
Angela Kwan, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 1, 2010

Hope you got your answer already. If not, I would say, you shouldn't pay for appraisal unless your property is unique and there would not be any comparable out there for you. Generally speaking, you should invite an agent to come over, give you a CMA (market analysis) to show you the sold and active in the recent months to set a proper price.

You shouldn't pay anything upfront until it's sold. The agent should feel free to provide you a CMA and a seller net sheet before you sign any agreement.

Finding a Realtor who knows the neighborhood and willing to work in the neighborhood is the key regardless of the physical office location. For example even though my office is located in West Loop but I work with people in Bridgeport and Chinatown. In order to find a right agent, you have to interview them, talk to them and get their opinions. It is like going on a date. :)

Good luck. Please me know if you need any help.

Angela Kwan
Conlon Real Esate
(312) 399-5714
0 votes
Murray Plish…, , Parsippany, NJ
Wed Dec 1, 2010
Here's what to do.
Get a few local realtors to come in and look at your condo. Ask them to give you a Market Evaluation ( what they feel the property will sell for in todays market).
They should come in fairly close to each other.
You can also form an opinion of who is knowledgable, honest and with whom you will work well with.
Ask questions.
The Realtor should be familiar with your local area.
Take a deep breath, and select your Realtor. Let him/her guide you through the whole process.

I wish you were in my area, but you unfortunately are not, so I wish you the best of luck!
Murph Plishtin
Web Reference:
0 votes
Jan Crosby, , West Roxbury, Boston, MA
Wed Dec 1, 2010
Dear Angie,
Unless you have a unique property ie. mixed use, I would not pay to have it appraised first. Appraisers have a different exercise than real estate brokers and usually already know the sale price and try to find comps to support it. They do not have a hand on the pulse beat of your immediate neighborhood and do not have to spent their time and money to achieve the price they quote.
I would have three agents look at your home and give you a price. It is usually best not to go with the agent that quotes you the highest price if the other two are close. This agent could be less knowledgeable or could be less than truthful with you, hoping you will be naive enough to go with the highest price. You want to look for trustworthiness and professionalism.
Although the real estate company does not need to be directly in your community, it should be in an adjacent community and the agent should have some sales experience in your area. You don't want a high end broker who doesn't value your modest community.
Ask friends for referrals, look who is selling condos in your area, ask a broker you know from another area to research who is strong in sales of your type of property. A team may or may not be the best way to go. If the broker is handling too may properties it may mean you get the newest agent to service your listing. Referrals are always good because it provides an additional layer of accountability.
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Jun 7, 2010
You would only pay for an appraisal up front if you know people are having trouble getting loans in your area. Often the fair market value (what a Realtor does for you) is higher than the appraisal - because in the area people are having a hard time getting loans. A good local Agent should know.

I recommend a Realtor Team, or a valuable recommendation.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Jun 7, 2010
In order to establish a fair listing price you need to review comps--recently sold similar units in the immediate area--comps are provided free of charge by most agents--and the agent(s) may need to see the unit before making any price determinations--you don't have to pay for a professional appraisal, unless you want to. As for realty companies--you can choose whoever you like, local or not--however, it is in your best interest to interview a few agents from different realty companies--choose the one you like best and the one that has the most to offer--choose your agent with care.
0 votes
Randall Whit…, , Chicago, IL
Mon Jun 7, 2010
Angie -

There are a few good topics in your question to touch on.

First, as many other agents have said, save your money and do not pay for an appraisal. At this stage in the game whichever agent you choose will do this for you for free.

Second, regarding the selection of an agent or broker, it is best not to get too caught up in the hype of reputation. The best thing to do is to take a day, set up some appointments and actually meet with a few different agents/brokers and ask them what they bring to the table. This is a VERY important step because you need to feel comfortable with the individual that will be helping you. Having a great reputation is one thing, but no firm has 100% amazing agents and therefore selecting a broker based on reputation alone is not recommended.

There is a very informative article on about different types of brokers. There are some brokers out there that will offer you full service (in some cases MORE than full service) while at the same time offering you a rebate (cash back from the commission) after you close. The broker I work for believes in this mentality. Giving back to our clients. It's a quick read if you have a moment, I think it would be helpful. Of course if you have any questions, please contact me, no strings attached I am a local agent and have personally lived in 10 neighborhoods including several around Humbolt, Logan, Wicker/Buck, etc.

Best of luck,

Here's the article called "Discount Brokers, Do You Get What You Pay For?…
Web Reference:
0 votes
Marlene Bien…, Agent, Tallahassee, FL
Thu Jun 3, 2010

You could save the $200 for an appraisal but unfortunately if the appraisal an agent provides were the same as an appraisers the lending industry would be calling agents to provide appraisals instead of the appraisal professional to provide mortgage funding.

The type of pricing an agent provides to their potential clients is an Opinion of pricing merely a suggested price for a home. This is a great tool for sellers to use but if you really want to know the price the bank will lend on your property an appraisal perform by an appraiser is the way to go. Food for thoughts.

This would be a good test for the agent you interview to see if his/her price opinion comes out the same as an appraisal?
Web Reference:
0 votes
Cherrie Cata…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Jun 2, 2010
Hi Angie,

I would personally save the $200 on the appraisal. A appraisal report is never necessary to sell your home. A good agent will provide the same information for you in a similar report. Appraisers actually use the same system thats realtors use. There is also no charge to have an agent pull up the information for you, nor are there any typical upfront charges to sell your home. I would be happy to lend a hand if you should have any other questions or concerns.

Cherrie Catama
Newman Realty
773.490.3437 Ph
0 votes
Marlene Bien…, Agent, Tallahassee, FL
Wed Jun 2, 2010

I do think you should get your home appraised even though they are only good for 6 months maybe 1 yr being the market the way it is and then invite Realtors in to your home and have them provide you with a broker’s price opinion to see what they think. There is usually no fee since they are trying to capture your listing. If you found a Realtor make sure they are familiar with your neighborhood and are able to service your listing. The point here is that your listing agent is basically an agent that will market your property and that will expose your property in various places that will be noticed by homebuyers that will request to see your home.

This agent will represent your best interest in the transaction. So, try to get an agent that has the most aggressive marketing strategy.

Best of luck! Hope this helped.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Jun 2, 2010
Angie hiring a good listing agent will include teh broker giving you a broker price opinion, which will tell you what your house is worth in todays market. More important they will tell you what you should ask for it and what price range you should receive offers in. Paying for an appraisal is not needed unless you want it for "peace of mind" for yourself.

Make sure your listing agent is familiar with your neighborhood. Hiring someone from out of town may not have first hand knowledge of your neighborhood, parks, crime, shoppimng area's, area hotspots and the schools.

Interview agents like it is an interview fior a job, ask what they charge, what you get for your money and tell them what you expect. If it all works for your situation and they meet your expectations, that is the agent for you. Bigger is not better.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Wed Jun 2, 2010
My advice is to save your money and skip the appraisal. A good listing agent will be able to provide you with comps (recently sold comparable homes) to give you a good idea of the value of the home. I would also look at the current inventory of similar homes for sale and their asking prices. This would be your market competition when you list so if your asking price is too high relative to the competition, you may not sell as fast.

As far as picking an agent, I don't believe in this day and age that an agent needs to be in the exact location of the home to do a great job for you, although they shouldn't be too far away so they can be effective. 85 to 90% of buyer's look for homes on the internet now.

I would recommend that you ask the listing agents that you interview how they leverage current technology to aggressively market your home. Are they advertising your home in every place possible online and are they going to represent you all the way to the closing table. Any agent can throw your home up on the MLS and hope for the best, but it is what they do in addition to this that will get your home sold. There are so many great avenues available for marketing a home these days and a good listing agent should be tapping into all of them for you. Send me a note if you are interested and I will send you a brochure of my 12 step marketing plan as an example of what I do to market a home. Good luck with your home sale!
0 votes
Laura Karamb…, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Wed Jun 2, 2010
Hi Angie-

That is a great question! We as agent don't give appraisals rather opinion of value (Comparative Market Analysis). We look at all the active competition, recent solds and expireds(properties that were on the market and didn't sell). I recommend having an appraisal by a licensed appraiser if there hasn't been any recent comparable properties sold.

No, we don't charge for a Market Analysis....make sure you ask the agents if they charge anything before they come out. I would recommend you call more than 1 agent to get an idea of their marketing strategies, their opinion of price, what the agent charges and how comfortable you feel with them. You can ask family members, co-workers or friends for a referral to an agent they have used.

Make sure they give you a "Seller's Net Sheet" which will give you an idea of closing costs. As a seller your fees will include: taxes, title, transfer stamps, agent's marketing fee, attorney fees, etc..

I hope this helps!

Good Luck!

Laura Karambelas SFR, CNHS, RCC, CREN
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource Agent
Baird & Warner
0 votes
I am trying to a value for a condo in Edgewater neighborhood. Three condos with an identical layout sold there several years ago. The highest price one sold for a value of twice that of the lowest priced one. The third one was just about the average of the two. Except for being on different floors, seems the only difference affecting value could be the interior, that is, has they been updated and how. Is there something else? How does one evaluate the fair market value of one that has never been updated?
Flag Fri Nov 29, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more