Should I show buyers my prelisting appraisal?

Do buyers need to see my prelisting appraisal?

prelisting appraisalI was doing a prelisting appraisal for a client this week and she asked me an interesting question I want to share with you. She wanted to know if she should show the report to buyers looking at her house or if she should keep it private. Let’s take a look at the benefits of both of these options.

Why should I keep my prelisting appraisal private?

If you want to keep your prelisting appraisal private, potential buyers will not have the benefit of knowing what it appraised for and you can use that to your advantage in negotiating a price. It is my belief from what I have seen in the past that most buyers want to think that they got a good deal and in order to do this they will try to negotiate a price down from what you originally asked for your home. If they know the appraised value from the report this may sabotage this approach.

It is this type of buyer that will try to get you to lower your price no matter what it is. To be prepared for this it mightshould you share the appraisal report be a good idea to set the asking price for slightly more than the appraised value to allow room for negotiations.

Homes typically sell for less than the asking price and this difference is what is referred to as the sale price to list price ratio. This ratio is expressed as a percentage and an appraiser can tell you what it is for your area so that you can determine how much more than the appraisal the list price should be.

The major benefit of this approach is that it allows you more freedom in negotiation.

Reasons to share your prelisting apprasial

Sharing your appraisal may work for you if you are a no nonsense person and feel that you should list your home for what it is worth and not worry about negotiations. With a recent prelisting appraisal you will have tangible evidence to potential buyers to back up your asking price. You can show them that what you’ve listed it at is what it appraised for and if they don’t like it they can take a hike. 🙂

Making the appraisal available to buyers can also provide peace of mind to them that there is less likelihood of the deal falling through due to a low appraisal. There is always the possibility of additional sales occurring between the prelisting appraisal and the bank appraisal but with a stable market any changes in market value should be negligible.

Other benefits to this approach include sharing other parts of the appraisal such as the floor plan sketch and the sales that were used to arrive at the value. This approach will also allow you to be more transparent to potential buyers, which may help and, as I mentioned previously, this can give them some peace of mind.


The strategy that you use will depend on who the potential buyer for your house is. If you go into the home sale process prepared with a prelisting appraisal you can decide what you want to do after you learn a little more about the who you’re working with. I hope this discussion about two possible approaches to use when selling your home has been helpful and gives you some food for thought.

Have any questions about a prelisting appraisal?

Do these tips on how to use a prelisting appraisal sound like they may be helpful to you? If you have any questions about these tips or others leave me a message below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you. If you have anything else to add lets continue the conversation and leave a comment below. Thanks again for reading.

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  1. Thank you for telling me that showing my appraisal means that I have evidence to back up my asking price even if potential buyers try to question me. I know that there are a lot of consultants in real estate who are willing to assist buyers in looking for a rightfully listed property, but my parents just wanted to sell our house as soon as possible so I don’t see any reason why I should list it higher than its appraisal value. Also, I’m not worrying about negotiations and I’m a no-nonsense person as you have mentioned, so I’ll be sure to provide peace of mind to my buyers and be transparent.

  2. Thanks for letting me know that a pre-listing appraisal will give you evidence to back up your asking price. My husband and I are wanting to sell our home. We want to get our money’s worth, so maybe we’ll look into getting our home appraised.

  3. Debra Robinson says

    A seller a seller is selling a home on their own and they purchased an appraisal to get an idea how much to ask for the home. A potential buyer asks for a copy of that appraisal. Should that potential buyer be charged for it or should the seller freely give them a copy?

    • Great question Debra. Since it is the property of the seller it would be up to them to decide this. Keep in mind that this appraisal cannot be used by a lender because they have to use their own appraiser. In my opinion, I would not charge them for a copy. I probably would not give them a copy but would let them view it. If the seller priced the home per the appraisal then the report should provide support that they are paying market value for the home and it is being used as a selling tool to provide the buyer with peace of mind that when they go to get a mortgage it should appraise for the contract amount.

  4. I started appraising in ’89, did the SRA dance and then left the lender side after all of the emasculation of our business. I switched gears, joined the enemy and secured my broker license; more money, fewer headaches and less wear and tear. Still deal with 90% of numb skull agents but that’s another story.

    Prelisting appraisals are like preinspections; about useless. The buyers will determine price and unless the appraiser writes it to current UW standards it’s pointless. Most won’t as those assignments allow for a bit of latitude. I also wouldn’t give squat to the other side unless it benefited me. Why plant a seed?

    Hold it if needed to challenge the buyer’s appraisal, make both agents work; you’d be surprised how inept the vast majority of agents are.

    • I’ve had a different experience with pre listing appraisals Hank. I find that the sellers I work with are very appreciative to get a pre listing appraisal to help them price their home to the market rather than relying on their limited knowledge. I’ve had many clients contact me after all is said and done and thank me for the positive experience and for providing them with helpful information. I typically provide an appraisal that is as close to a mortgage appraisal as possible so there won’t be any issues when the home goes under contract and the mortgage appraisal is completed. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  5. Good topic for discussion Tom. I too get asked if the pre listing appraisal should be advertised and my answer is similar to yours and that they should consult with their agent.

    • Agents can provide helpful information if sellers are using one. If they’re not then this post can give them something to think about. Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Thoughtful post, Tom. It all comes down to negotiation, and sellers need to consider what it looks like to keep their edge. I typically say to keep the appraisal private unless there is a need for it to be made available. I have seen some investors include pre-list appraisals in the document section of MLS so everyone can see it. I suppose everyone has a different strategy, and there is no such thing as one strategy that will work in every price range, market, or time.

    By the way, I’m assuming you liked the results of the game last night. Right? 🙂

    • I agree Ryan. The strategy will depend on your situation. Yes, I was very happy with the National Championship game. One of the best I’ve ever seen played 😀


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