Should I Get An FSBO Appraisal Before Selling A House In Utah?

Selling with a Realtor

Home sellers will often engage the services of a professional realtor to assist with selling a home. However, many think they’ll be able to sell their home and pocket some extra money that would otherwise go to realtor commissions. Whether you decide to hire a realtor or list your home for sale by owner, or FSBO, it’s in your best interests to obtain an FSBO appraisal in Utah.

Realtors provide many services that the typical homeowner isn’t aware of, including being ready to show a home at a moment’s notice. Conversely, if you decide to hire a realtor to sell your home, there are some services that a realtor typically will not provide or is unable to provide, so you’ll need to provide those no matter who sells your home. Realtors’ actions are governed by state and local laws, and violating them can result in the loss of their license, so you should be prepared to participate in the selling process whether you list with a realtor or FSBO.

Where to Start With FSBO Appraisals

Obtaining an accurate measurement of your home’s square footage is vital since most homes are evaluated on a per-square-foot basis. This will be true whether you sell with a realtor or FSBO. Typically, the measurements are from outside wall to outside wall when determining the square footage of a home. This can vary, however, and a realtor will know the practice in your local area.

Our appraisers use the most current technology, such as lasers and digital recording devices, to ensure the highest accuracy in measurement. If your home has extraordinary features such as solar panels or a swimming pool, the value these items provide can differ from one neighborhood to the next. An appraisal can show how much buyers in your specific market are willing to pay for these types of features, so if your realtor is unable to provide these services, ask them to cover the cost of obtaining an appraisal.

Should I Get an FSBO Appraisal Before Selling a House in Utah?

There are many services available today that aid homeowners in selling their homes, which can save sellers a considerable amount of money in realtor commissions. For FSBO sellers in Utah, we can’t stress enough that you should obtain an FSBO appraisal in Utah. The time and money you save will be well worth the investment in your FSBO appraisal in Utah.

Square Footage

Although there are no laws governing square footage measurements, it’s extremely important to have an accurate square footage measurement of your home. Square footage is usually measured from corner to corner on the outside walls. Since homes and most other buildings are priced by the square foot, underestimating the square footage of your home can cost you money. Conversely, overestimating the square footage can cause you to overprice your home and miss potential buyers.

Another piece of vital square footage information is the amount per square foot that local homes sell for, which can vary considerably by just one street or two. Accurate information on the square-footage selling price can provide significantly higher profits than simply asking your neighbor what their home sold for and assuming that your home is worth the same.

Market Comps

Aside from knowing the square footage of your home, knowing the market comps is one of the most important pieces of information you can have. Market comps, or comparative sales, tell you the selling prices of similar homes in similar neighborhoods. The most accurate numbers will come from your neighborhood, but if you don’t have access to the MLS, sales numbers may be more difficult to locate. Public property records can be helpful, but you’ll need the individual addresses or a plat map to look them up.

Apples to Apples

When you’re researching home sales, make sure that you compare similar types of homes. For example, if you’re selling a condo, then prices for single-family homes won’t be applicable, although townhomes would be acceptable. If you’re selling a single-family home, comps for a townhouse won’t work. The figures that are important when using comps include:

  • Square footage
  • Construction
  • Sold homes only, don’t include those that haven’t sold
  • Curb appeal
  • Upgrades

Sometimes, a homeowner will overbuild for the area, and those should be excluded from your figures. Be sure to use only sold homes that are similar to the one you’re researching, and usually, you should only go back one year. So the prices of similar homes that sold five years ago, for example, probably won’t be relevant.

Hire an Appraiser

There is no set answer to the question, “Should I get an FSBO appraisal before selling a house in Utah?” Sometimes, it can be worth your while to hire a professional appraiser, and sometimes it may not be. Although professional appraisals aren’t cheap – they can cost several hundred dollars – it may be worthwhile to hire a pro. Your time is valuable, and much of the information you need is readily available to a professional appraiser whereas you may need to spend many hours in research to obtain the same data.

Our qualified appraisers can provide you with an FSBO appraisal in Utah, so you maximize the profit from selling your home but don’t leave money on the table. Conversely, if your home is overpriced for the local market, it may take much longer to sell, if it sells at all.

When Should I Get an Appraisal?

Counterintuitively, getting an appraisal when you decide to list your home may not be in your financial best interests. To be sure, assessing the comps in the neighborhood will provide you with a starting point for your listing price. But if your home takes a while to sell, you may need a current appraisal to satisfy the lender’s terms, and home appraisals are expensive.

What’s the Purpose of an Appraisal?

A home appraisal is intended to ensure that the buyer doesn’t pay more than the home is worth rather than to ensure the seller gets a fair price. In fact, many buyers look for homes that are underpriced so they can make more when they sell. Usually, the lender will require their own appraisal even if you’ve had one, so it’s best to delay obtaining an appraisal until you have an offer and a buyer.

Homes Can Sell More Than Market Value

The market value is the price for which homes are selling. The appraised value is the valuation of a home according to an unbiased and objective third party. 

Many times, homes will sell for more than the appraised value, depending on the location and how badly the buyer wants the home. Banks and appraisers use data of “closed sales” meaning homes that have already sold. It is very common for a home to sell for more or less than the price the home was listed for. In many states the actual sales price is public information, and the county recorder will have the data. Utah is 1 of 11 states that does NOT publicly disclose the sales price of a home. This means that you need access to the private data on the local MLS. You can only get this data with the help of a realtor or an appraiser, as they have access to this data. 

If You’re Selling a Home in Utah…

If you’re selling a home in Utah and need an FSBO appraisal in Utah, then contact our office at 1-801-882-2292 for a free quote before putting your house on the market. Whether you’re listing FSBO or want to enlist the services of a realtor, we can help you maximize your profits while minimizing the length of time it takes to sell your home. 

We serve Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, and Tooele Counties and provide accurate residential valuations. We can help you with an FSBO appraisal in Utah, and answer your question about “should I get an FSBO appraisal before selling a house in Utah?”