When True Real Estate Property Appraisals Count


During my early days as a real estate sales associate (circa 1981), the broker with whom I was associated was very fond of “old adages” and the historical aspect of real estate. As a newcomer to the business of real estate sales my thirst for knowledge was a leading factor in me clinging to every word (pearl of wisdom) uttered by the broker. One of those utterances was regarding a true appraisal.

He would often say that “the truest definition of an appraisal is what a “willing” buyer is willing to pay and a willing seller is “willing” to sell for”. This truest of true definition helped guide my own approach to doing business as a real estate agent in later years. Though, in the early days, I was unsure how much this “truest” definition was relied upon by appraisers who actually evaluated the homes we were selling, it was a lesson soon learned.

But first a two-part question: Does the data from an “all-cash” sale create a comparable for future sales of similar homes in the same community/neighborhood – and can that comparable be used by the lender’s appraiser to support a given value in his/her report? Answering no would be an indication that any “all-cash” sale comparable is to be ignored by property appraisers and therefore has no impact on future home values within the same neighborhood.

A “yes” answer would permit the use of these “all-cash” sale comparables in the appraisal reports thereby helping the appraiser to make neccessary adjustments in his final value because, not only is an appraisal based on the professional opinion of the appraiser, it must also reflect all recent sales activity in the area in which the subject property is located. Therefore any “all-cash” sales that were consummated within 3 to 6 months of the new sale must be taken into consideration, because they also have an impact on the community.

Overall, the appraisal will lead to the conclusion of what the market value is. If the market price can not be defined easily, then someone can look at the different parts of the property and determine what they believe the market price should be. Usually, this will be done by an inspector looking at the various mechanics that may have been swept underneath the rug. But this done ONLY in the absence of usable market data (prior sales activity).

An appraisal is a necessary requirement when a home is being sold and the buyer is obtaining financing from a bank or mortgage lender. The appraiser may use several external resources and definitions of what market value may include in relation to the opinion being made in order to determine the value of a home. When getting an appraisal, you can expect that the estimates will be based around various factors that are related to the particular market area at that time.

Instead of just examining the parts of the property, an appraiser will also examine the neighborhood and see what everything else is worth in relation to the property. So by appraising a property, you will know how much your home is worth in relation to your own needs as they relate to that property, as well as in relation to everything around it. Observing the standards that exist both inside and outside, you will have the knowledge you need to determine when the timing is right to put your home on the market.

What differentiates the “all-cash” property sale from a real estate sale that is financed by a bank/mortgage lender can be a number of factors, but two of the most important of those factors are: One, the lack of a “mortgage clause” in the contract and two, the absence of a bank-ordered certified property appraisal. This does not mean however, that private deal made between a willing seller and buyer in good faith should be ignored or even discounted.


Market Prices: Important Factors In Choosing Your First Home


Among the most important fundamentals of home shopping are market prices. In fact, some home buyers welcome the opportunity to negotiate for the best possible price they can get, and sometimes they are successful in getting a real bargain due to the home seller’s circumstances. Homeowners decide to sell for various reasons, and it is some of those reasons – illness, divorce, foreclosure, etc. – that create opportunities for bargain-seeker home buyers.

There are times however, that the market chooses sides; sometimes with the seller (so-called seller’s market), other times with the buyer (so-called buyer’s market), and in a period of depressed home prices due to a recession or other extended periods of depressed home prices, buyers get to pick and choose from the best homes in the best areas and at the best prices.

Today, at the time this article is being writtent, we are in such an extended period of depressed home prices. So much so that some homes are in an “underwater” (underwater is a term usd to describe a home with a value that is less than the mortgage balance) state of existence.

That having been said, if you are ready to move out of your apartment, there is no time better than now. Beginning to search for your first home is an important step of having the ability to build better finances and to live in a place that is comfortable. If you are considering a new home, there are specific things that you will want to know before jumping in with both feet, but one thing that is advantageous to you at this time is the market, or market conditions.

However, before you even begin to look at homes, make sure that you conduct your own investigation. This will mean that you should find the going rates, how much your new payment will be every month, and what you can or can’t afford, in terms of out-of-pocket cash. You will also want to see what types of houses are going and what they are going for.

If you know the basics of what is available, it will be easier for you to get exactly what you want. You should also consider things such as your credit rating and your pay check. You don’t want to walk into something that is over your head or start to look for something, only to find out that you won’t be able to move in.

From here, it is all a matter of getting involved with the right people. One of the most important decisions that you can make is to find the right real estate agent. This will make a huge difference in the type of deal that you get as well as what type of home and mortgage you end up with. Real estate agents have the ability to do investigations for you and find something that is best for you. You will also want to make sure that there are connections with home inspectors and the right lenders.

Without the right people set in place, there will be problems with getting the best deal with your new home. The option to do your own research always available to you, especially if you own a compuer with an Internet connection; But keep in mind that real estate agents make a living by being experts in the field of real estate and therefore are much better equipped to get you a great deal than perhaps you are at securing your own deal.

If you do work with a real estate agent and begin to look at homes, make sure to put yourself in a position to understand the terms that are being given to you. Loan terms, terms about the market, and other real estate jargon will often times be discussed. If you don’t know what something is or what it means, look it up right away or ask. Getting into a first home is a big step up from an apartment, so it is important that you understand what you are getting into.


The process of finding a new home can be challenging and fun. Making sure that you are as prepared as you can be can help you to get exactly what you want. By learning the ropes from the very beginning, you can be certain to get what you want and move on from there. One area in which you are very fortunate is that of home prices due to present market conditions. Although we are 5 years post-recession 2007 there still seems to be a long road ahead before home prices rebound to pre-recession levels, and returning to those levels are iffy at best.

So you can take your time and look for the best home that will suit your family as well as your pocketbook; But don’t make this home-buying process 12 to 24 month project, because so many things can happen to change your financial situation, your motivation for buying and/or other market-related aspects such as suitable financing programs still being available with their same rules and guidelines when you’re ready. If you are ready to move out of your apartment and market conditions are on your side, then you should do it sooner than later.

Selling A House Without Help From Real Estate Agent


When you choose to sell your home without the help of a real estate agent, most likely it’s because you want to save some money. Research has shown that selling a house without help can save the house seller as much as $9,000 during the home selling process, depending on where the house is located. However, please don’t be swayed by this fact.

A qualified real estate agent costs a lot because they have experience in the market and is more likely to get you a more acceptable price for your home. An agent also wins based on the networks s/he subscribes to, like MLS, Realtor Boards and other real estate specialists which enables him/her to reach people who’s looking for a house, or can help in selling one.

selling a house without help will also affect the marketing process. If you go house selling without the help of an agent, it’s not likely that you’ll have access to Multiple Listing Services – a database full of house listings given out to home buyers. You might need to get the buyers in some other way, like holding an open house regularly until you sell and/or putting an advertisement in your local newspaper.

Furthermore, when a buyer sees that you are selling a property without help, they will likely offer a lower price, because they know you’re already saving money by not hiring an agent. However, this circumstance also allows YOU to accept a lower price, because while the buyer may make a lesser price offer you are able to gain the advantage of netting an acceptable amount while getting a faster sale.

On the other hand, it is understandable that some people do not trust other people to sell their home. Selling a house without help means being in total control of the transaction. You know that you will always be available for questions or home showings; and whenever you make a mistake, it’s yours and only yours to accept responsibility for (trust me, a mistake that costs you nothing would still feel better than an expensive one).

Selling property is no easy task, so when you’re sure that selling a house without help is the way to go, there are some extra preparations you need to make. Take extra measures in preparing your house. Remember that you’ll be competing with professional agents and their clients’ houses – make sure you have a chance to stand out! Find websites that provides a “For Sale by Owner” kit to help you get as much exposure as possible.

You also need to get educated in legal (contractual) requirements involved when you sell a property. This will take some time, so get help from an attorney and start researching way before your anticipated selling date. selling a house without help is a tricky business. Some say that you’re able to sell your own house if you have three free hours every day of the week. With a little bit of work, you’ll manage to put that much-needed money to better use.

Let’s look at it this way. Even if you are able to accept less money from a buyer to effect a quicker sale, you will still save money by means of the time you will have saved, because if your mortgage payment is $1,500 per month and you leave the house 6 months early due to the quick sale, you would save $9,000 in costs.