Posted by Mike Oldfield on November 26, 1999 at 16:44:51:
Go into a real estate office and ask first for a list of properties for sale that are similar to the property you are considering. The agent will assume you are looking for property and want to get all warm and fuzzy with you. Tell them you want to do drive bys first and then call them when you are ready for their services. Then ask for a list of properties recently sold that are similar to the property you are considering. Get the long version of these listings. Look this information over carefully and drive by the comps for a look and feel. With this information you can draw your own conclusions what the property is worth.
Also, in my area appraisers will do a drive by appraisal for a hundred bucks.
I have plenty more suggestions how to get around this unnecessary cost if you tell me what you need the appraisal for. For example, if you need an “official” appraisal for a private lender they are often independent business people who would be happy to accept the information you compiled from your real estate office.
I loan money to investors and will draw my own conclusions about value with the right information. The appraisal is not necessary when you are dealing with a knowledgeable player. A substitute is typically acceptable to everyone but the “slow to know” bankers out there.
Write me back with your circumstances if you want or need more ideas,
I love real estate,