Appraisals Continue to Play an Important Role in Assessing a Home's Value
By Keith Loria
If you’re involved in a real estate transaction, whether you're the buyer or the seller, understanding the importance of an appraisal—and what it says about the home—is critical.
In its simplest terms, the appraisal is a professional assessment of a home’s value, performed by a licensed appraiser, who considers things such as the property’s features, current market conditions, and supporting data on sales of similar properties. From there, an appraiser will use a formula to calculate the true value of the home.
Appraisals are conducted by independent contractors who have no affiliation with the buyer or seller. Appraisers work for a fee, rather than a commission, so there’s no bias on his or her part when determining the value of a property. Not only does the appraisal allow sellers to establish a fair market value of the property involved in the transaction, the appraisal process also goes a long way toward helping a lender determine how much they can safely lend to buyers.
While all appraisals are different, ranging in length from a few pages to more than 100, they all include details about the house, a description of the neighborhood and side-by-side comparisons of similar properties. The appraisal will also contain an evaluation of the area’s real estate market, notations of major problems with the property that will affect its value and an estimate of the expected time it will take to sell the property.
Many of today’s appraisals are placing a greater emphasis on green features, with appraisers estimating higher prices when energy-efficiency methods are installed, a trend that’s not likely to go away anytime soon. This is something that you or your REALTOR® should point out if you’re accompanying the appraiser on the viewing.
In the end, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to agree with the outcome of an appraisal and base your buying or selling decision strictly on the results that come about through the process, but the appraisal is an important barometer to keep in mind as you work with your agent to determine the best price point at which to list your home.
To learn more about the appraisal process, contact a local mortgage consultant today.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.
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