If you are considering purchasing or selling a home, condo or any other type of real estate, you will most likely need the services of a real estate appraiser. An appraiser performs an assessment of properties and other types of real estate to help establish its value. While there are several methods appraisers use to establish the value of real estate (e.g. cost method, income method, and comparison method), for residential properties, the comparison method (also known as market value) is the most common approach. The appraiser’s job is to provide an opinion about the value of a property based on its “highest and best use.” If you are financing the purchase of a property, your lender will normally require an appraisal to make sure that the property is really worth the amount loaned.
The real estate appraiser is tasked with carrying out a completely objective assessment of a property and will normally provide a written evaluation report. This is accomplished by a physical inspection of the property, as well as a comparison to other similar properties for which the value is already established. To make a determination about value, the appraiser gathers details such as the size of a property, size of the lot, location, condition, best use of the property, amenities, etc.
After this initial inspection, the appraiser may scout the neighborhood to compare the property with other similar properties in the neighborhood by age, size, price range, etc. The appraiser then gathers additional data from several sources such as the local Multiple Listing Services (MLS), which provides information on current and recent comparable sales. The appraiser also gathers information from his/her own past experience in the local market. All of these sources of information are taken into consideration while writing the appraisal report, which will provide an estimate about the value of a property.
There are many reasons to use the services of a qualified appraiser. When purchasing real estate, an appraisal provides you with a negotiating tool and helps ensure that the price you are paying is appropriate. If you are selling your property, the appraisal will help you determine an appropriate price range. Besides real estate and mortgage transactions, you may need to order an appraisal to lower the tax burden (assuming the value is really lower than the value established by taxing authorities), to establish the replacement cost of insurance, to settle an estate, etc. An appraiser only gives an estimate of the value of the property. A real estate appraiser is not to be confused with a home inspector.
If you are considering buying or selling a home, condo or any other type of real estate, you can use the services of a qualified real estate appraiser who will provide an estimate of the fair market value of your property.