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What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a professional appraiser’s opinion of value. The preparation of an appraisal involves research into appropriate market areas; the assembly and analysis of information pertinent to a property; and the knowledge, experience, and professional judgment of the appraiser. Appraisals may be required for any type of property, including single family homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial sites and farms. The reasons for performing a real property appraisal are just as varied. They are usually required whenever real property is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed. For example, appraisals are prepared for:

  • Mortgage Lending Purposes: Purchase, Sale, or Refinance
  • Dissolutions (Divorce)
  • Tax Assessments and Appeals of Assessments
  • Negotiation between Buyers and Seller
  • Government Acquisition of Private Property for Public Use
  • Business Mergers or Dissolutions
  • Lease Negotiations
  • Estate Planning
  • Replacement Cost for Insurance
  • Establish Compensation for Condemnation
  • Litigation Support
  • Expert Witness Services
  • Bankruptcy
What is the Role of the Appraiser?

The role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial, and unbiased opinions about the value of real property - providing assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in, and / or lend money on the security of real estate. Appraisers assemble a series of facts, statistics, and other information regarding specific properties, analyze this data, and develop opinions of value. Each appraisal assignment challenges the appraiser’s ability to put analytical skills into practice, exercise sound judgment, and communicate effectively.

The appraiser does not create value; the appraiser interprets the market to arrive at a value estimate. As the appraiser compiles data pertinent to a report, consideration must be given to the site and amenities as well as the physical condition of the property. An appraiser may spend only a short time inspecting the property, however, this is only the beginning. Many hours of analyzing, verifications, and report writing go into each assignment.

Considerable research for collecting general and specific data must be accomplished before the appraiser can arrive at the final opinion of value.

*Information provided by the Appraisal Institute and IFA

Why get an Appraisal?

Appraisals are obtained for several reasons, including but not limited to:

    The Purchase or Sale of a Property
This gives you an objective third party opinion of a property’s current market value and the confidence in making an informed decision as to the price of the property.

    Refinance or Home Equity
Want to consolidate bills? Pay for college? Or possibly remodel?
You will need a new loan and a new current appraisal.

    Dissolution (Divorce)
A divorce can be a very stressful time in one’s life. Who gets the house? Should it be sold? The court system might order the sale of the property. This is a good way for both parties to feel confident that they are getting an equal share of the equity.

In a buyout situation where one owner retains the ownership in the property, this is a good way to get a fair assessment.

    Estate
The IRS requires appraisals to establish the value of an estate when a death occurs. Attorneys and Accountants rely on our values when calculating real property values. In many instances there will be multiple effective dates. There could be the date of acquisition, the date of death, the date of marriage, and / or a current date. Disputing parties, whether it is siblings or others, rely on the professionals for accurate and fair representation.

    Contest High Property Taxes
Property owners might believe that their property is assessed too high. They can order an appraisal to contest the assessment.


“An appraiser is like an umpire in the Real Estate Game according to the rules they call it like they see it!”

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