Free Home Value Report Search For Homes

Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Gresh Group is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who Determines the Value of Your Home?

Watch on your mobile device >>

It's the job of the real estate appraiser. His or her job is to evaluate a property and tell you, the buyer, what condition it is in and the value. Of course, as a seller, you can also have your home appraised so you get an objective "third party" view of your property.

Real estate appraisers are licensed by the state. Regulations vary, however, so I recommend you contact either me or a bank for information on qualified and ethical appraisers (more on this later). Often, they are independent contractors associated with appraisal firms headed by a Certified Appraiser or the equivalent.

What are the Benefits of Using an Appraiser's Services?

When you are a buyer, appraisers can provide you with two great benefits:

First of all, they can uncover hidden problems that could end up costing you a lot of money down the line. Their appraisal can help you to either avoid the property all together or negotiate a lower price to compensate for future costs.

, appraisers can do the opposite -- uncover hidden opportunities for you! For example, you might be considering a home that doesn't look all that wonderful on the outside, but is actually in solid shape as far as its structure is concerned. So, through an appraiser's efforts, you may end up with an outstanding bargain.

From the seller's viewpoint... an appraisal can uncover items that need to be fixed before you put your home on the market. This ensures that your property is in the best shape possible before prospective buyers ever look at it.

What Kind of Report Will I Receive from an Appraiser?

A certified appraiser should provide you with a written report. These reports generally consist of the following nine items
1. A description of the property and its location based on a visit to the property by the appraiser. The appraiser evaluates the condition, overall livability based on design, layout, and appeal to the market, and other external factors).

 An evaluation of the “highest and best use” of the land; that is, the use for a piece of land, or property in general, that maximizes its net present value.

. An evaluation of sales of comparable properties (usually three) as similar to the appraised property as possible.

 Information regarding current real estate activity and/or market area trends.

An evaluation of the overall real estate market in the area.

Statements about items the appraiser feels are detrimental to the property's value, such as poor access to the property.

Notations about seriously flawed items, such as a crumbling foundation, leaking roof, etc.

An estimate of the average sales time for the property.

What type of area the home is in (a development, stand alone acreage, etc.).

How Do I Find a Certified Real Estate Appraiser?

I can direct you to very qualified appraisers, or you can find one through your bank, as it too should have a list of approved appraisers. If you decide to find an appraiser on your own, check his or her background carefully. As with any profession, there are always a few scam artists who inflate appraisal amounts in order to make more money.

Check with the Better Business Bureau and the Washington D. C. State Appraisal Board. You can also check with your bank to make sure an appraiser is not blacklisted.

How Much Does An Appraisal Cost?

Generally speaking, an appraisal runs from $300 to $500. However, fees do vary with location.

If you need more information on real estate appraisers or any other real estate topic, be sure to call me.