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Thursday, April 16, 2015

What Should You Look for in an Appraiser?

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Welcome back! Today we are joined by John Reeves of Absolute Appraisal. We hire John from time to time to help us with appraisals for many of our sellers, so we wanted to introduce him to you today and have him answer a few questions you may have about what appraisers do.

John has been a licensed appraiser for 12 years and has helped us with many appraisals over the years.
 Agents hire him because his forte is to help us to determine where the sale price should be set. He's an independent appraiser who works for sellers and buyers, which is different from a bank appraiser who works for banks.

Below is some of the most common questions people have about the appraisal process.

What is an appraiser?
An appraiser is a real estate professional who specializes in providing opinions of home value (appraisals). Professional appraisers have taken courses and been supervised during their training period. State licensed and certified appraisers must pass a test and have completed basic education and continuing education. Most states also require a period of supervision, usually 2,000 hours before being able to do appraisals "on your own."

What do appraisers really do?
When an appraiser inspects a home, the inspection is really the "tip of the iceberg" of the work they do. Before going to the house, they should research public records information, get a plat map, check the zoning and flood data, and print out sales and listings of similar homes. During the inspection, it is important to make a drawing of the home and other improvements such as a swimming pool and make notes on physical characteristics such as floor coverings and built-in appliances.

After completing the inspection, an appraiser selects comparable sales and listings and contact the real estate agent for more information on the sales terms, condition of the home, reconcile conflicting information from different data sources, and write up the report.

When do you need your own appraiser?
When getting a mortgage loan, the lender selects the appraiser. Property owners, buyers, and sellers, or their attorneys, often hire their own appraisers to determine a fair sales price.

What should you look for when hiring an appraiser?
Consider the purpose of the appraisal and the type of property, and hire an appraiser with experience in the property type, geographic area of the property, and other similar purposes.

We'd like to give a big thanks to John for joining us today. If you have any further questions about the appraisal process for John, you can give him a call at (703) 967-5636 or send an email to

If you have any other questions about real estate, you can always give me a call at 703-963-5500 or send me an email at I look forward to speaking with you!