Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Inherited a Home. Can You Value It?

Question
Frank,
I was wondering if you would be available on the 23rd to come and take a look at a house I just inherited in Arlington.
It is a split-level home located at XXX. My father passed away in March and my brother and I inherited the house together. Right now, I need to find out what it is worth so I can buy my brother out. I am not sure if I will rent it (it is a rental now) or sell it this spring.
I found your website when I was searching for a realtor who was familiar with Alexandria (my brother is looking to purchase a condo there.)
My tenant said she would also be home on the 22nd if you would be available then.
Thanks,
Jane

Reply:
Hey Jane,
I don't think I am the right person for you. However I can make a suggestion.

I suggest you hire an appraiser (email me and I can ask my lender for one). That way you get an unbiased number that your brother would be less likely to question.

While some Realtors have no problem spitting out data in 10 minutes and giving you a price, I don't do that. I only give pricing AFTER I'm hired and I take about 6-8 hours to help YOU come up with a number. So while many websites will try to lure in a seller with a "free home evaluation" report, I don't do that.

Also many Realtors will give you a higher price in hopes to try to win your future business. The highest price Realtor wins... That is called Buying a Listing.

Also once you find a price, you have to try to decide what is "fair." Do you buy him out at 50% of the appraised price, or do you adjust it for Realtor fees? Well if you are going to sell it in 6 months, that might not be fair since you are going to have fees then as well. But if you don't sell it, why should he get the full price, assuming no fees.

Best of luck.

Written by Frank

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