Why Appraisals and Zestimates Make You Lose Money

When I began working as a realtor, I reached out to attorneys to see what methods they used to determine the value of their client’s property. I was shocked by some of their answers. Many attorneys I talked to did not have much of any strategy to determine property values. And most who did picked a method out of thin air without much thought as to why.

Indeed, right after I asked this question, the response I got from many attorneys was “why does it matter?” It matters because this is where you and/or your spouse stand to gain or lose A LOT of money. Of course, when you sell a property, the reason is obvious. If you value your property wrong, and sell it for less than it’s worth, it costs everyone money.

But even if you don’t end up selling your marital property, during a divorce inaccurate valuations end up costing someone money. Let’s say for example you agree that your home is valued at $150,000 when it’s actually worth $100,000. Now you agree to stay in the property while your spouse leaves and split the equity (assume no mortgage). In the latter scenario you’re giving them $50,000. In the former, you’re giving your spouse $75,000 and you just lost $25,000 and they got a windfall of $25,000.

These instances are where I first noticed the gap between what attorneys versus realtors know about real estate. And the reason they don’t know this stuff is because it isn’t their concern, nor is it their area of expertise. Their concern is to win your case and their area of expertise is the law. And it’s very important to have someone like that on your side. But that’s also where a competent realtor becomes your best friend. If you’re selling your property, it’s a realtor’s job to get you the most money possible for your property. Their paycheck depends on it.

Contact me today at 612-269-1902 to help you get the most money for your home sale. As a licensed real estate broker and real estate attorney with several years of experience serving both buyers and sellers, I have extensive experience in real estate negotiations and the details of the transaction that is unmatched by your average real estate agent. I’m especially adept at finding win-win, comprehensive solutions for homeowners that are going through a divorce or separation, probate, landlord-tenant or HOA disputes, or any other legal issue on top of a home purchase or sale.