Understanding the Appraisal Process
While there are many reasons to have a property appraised, the basic procedure is the same. The value of a property is not affected by the reason for the appraisal. An appraisal, simply stated, is used to determine the Market Value of the property. Our job is to provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay, or a seller to receive, for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties.
Appraisals start with the appraiser's inspection of the home
Once we receive a request to perform an appraisal of your home, we will contact you to make an appointment to view the property. In order to determine an accurate status of the property, the appraiser must first perform a thorough inspection in order to see the aspects of the home first hand, such as the location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and to convey the layout of the home, the appraiser will measure the home (exterior and interior) to determine the square footage and create a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house. If required, he will also take photos of the interior, with your permission.
If the home is occupied and the owner present, our appraiser will sit down with you after the inspection to discuss the property. Many appraiser's skip this step, which we feel is paramount to knowing all aspects of the property. Who knows better than the homeowner all of the details of the home, such as when the kitchen was remodeled, or the room addition completed? We strive to have the most detailed, accurate report possible, and we feel this is an important part of the process.
The appraiser will answer any questions you have about the appraisal process
Almost always, when our appraiser meets with a homeowner, they have questions about what to expect. Many times, they've never had an appraisal done, but more often than we like to hear, they say "the last guy who did an appraisal for us was in and out in 10 minutes and he wouldn't say a word to us!" While we cannot give you our opinion of value (remember, our work has just begun!), we can tell you about what to expect next.
The appraiser spends several hours researching his findings of your property
The appraiser now has to research your property and find comparable homes. He will drive by each home he uses in his report and take photos of the exterior - another step many appraisers skip (they use photos from the MLS). Then, if needed, the appraiser will go to the local tax assessors office or county courthouse for further documentation. He will also place calls to Realtors® who have participated in the sales of the comparable properties to confirm the information provided in the MLS or ask any questions he may have regarding their sales. Then, the appraiser employs two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: a cost approach, a sales comparison analysis and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an opinion of the estimated market value for the subject property. The bottom line is: we will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.