Q. I have some questions getting started----

1. When you are first checking out a house to purchase--how are you getting the appraisal pricegoing through a realtor or estimating it yourself? I am trying to get steps in order when I look at something to know how much to offer. I am getting ready to call on some FSBO.

A. Congratulations on getting started! That is the hardest part and you are over that hump.

To determine values I will first ask the seller what they think it is worth. Sometimes they will actually tell you the trust. If they have had a recent appraisal, I will have them fax it to me.

After I talk with them I will only research the value if I decide to pursue the property.

My favorite way to check values is to use MLS from a realtor. I have a local realtor that gives me access to MLS.

There are also a number of sites online that will help you with values. Do a search on the internet.

As a last resort, you could find an appraiser that can check some values for you for a small fee. You do not need a full appraisal.