How Important is a Quality Home Appraiser?

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Whether buying or refinancing a home, find a quality home appraiser does require knowledge to navigate and find the right one.  A home appraiser inspects a home, assessing construction, amenities, location, and anything that might have an impact on the home’s value. Banks use them prior to issuing a mortgage, insurance companies to provide the proper coverage and real estate agents during the buying process.  Finding a quality home appraiser can be accomplished with some know-how. First, prepare your home. Clean, improve curb appeal, ensure all safety equipment is up to date and inspected. Complete repairs, and make a detailed list of all home improvements completed in the last five years.  Second, do the research. The appraiser should have, at the bare minimum, a certification. Appraisers are often appointed by the court, real estate agent, or mortgage company, at the buyer’s or home owner’s expense. You are allowed to find your own. Per Investopedia, “Appraisers can be licensed or certified, and the designation makes a difference, depending on the type of property you want appraised – and the property’s value. A licensed appraiser can appraise simple one-to-four-unit residential properties, valued up to $1 million. A certified residential appraiser can appraise any one-to-four-unit residential property, regardless of the property’s value. A certified general appraiser can appraise any property – of any complexity or value – whether it’s residential or commercial.” By knowing the difference, and exactly what you’re looking for, it is possible to hire the right individual to complete the appraisal.  While researching, check experience, and if they have the necessary knowledge and understanding of your area. For the best appraisal, they should be familiar with your neighborhood, and the experience necessary to give a correct appraisal of your property. Do not forget to check their status with the state regulatory agency, for any suspensions, fines, or disciplinary hearings.  After the inspection, a report is created. Take the time to review as quickly as possible. The first page lists the property and improvements. Scan the page for accuracy. If something is wrong, be sure to contact them quickly. Page two will have the actual appraised value of the home. The first column is the property being appraised, the second column is comparable homes in the area, also referred to as “comps”. Expect that some of the numbers were adjusted, due to each home having unique attributes. The amount of changes will tell a lender the appraiser’s confidence in the numbers.  At the bottom of the page, the appraiser will reveal the fair market value of the home, including how much to replace the home, and can be used as a base for insurance values.  You’ll need time and patience, but just as finding the most Effective Agents for selling your home is important, so is finding the right home appraiser.

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