What is an Appraisal?

What is an appraisal?
What does an appraiser do?
Why would a person need a home appraisal?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
What does the appraisal report contain?
After completing the report, what assurance is there that the information is valid?
Who do appraisers work for?
How are appraisers certified?


What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is a thought process leading to a value conclusion.


What does an appraiser do?

The fundamental role of an appraiser is to provide a professional opinion, usually an estimate of market value, to be used in making real estate decisions. Appraisers develop appraisal reports that are the conveyance to another of an appraisal.


Why would a person need a home appraisal?

There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal with he most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:

  • To obtain a loan.

  • To lower your tax burden.

  • To establish the replacement cost of insurance.

  • To contest high property taxes.

  • To settle an estate.

  • To provide a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.

  • To determine a reasonable price when selling real estate.

  • To protect your rights in a condemnation case.

  • Because a government agency such as the IRS requires it.

  • If you are involved in a lawsuit.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?

The appraiser is not a home inspector nor does he/she do a complete home inspection. An inspection is a third-party evaluation of the accessible structure and mechanical systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.


What does the appraisal report contain?

Each report must reflect a credible estimate of value and must identify the following:

  • The client and other intended users.

  • The intended use of the report.

  • The purpose of the assignment.

  • The type of value reported and the definition of the value reported.

  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.

  • Relevant property characteristics, including location attributes, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic attributes, the real property interest valued, and Non real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, including trade fixtures and intangible items

  • All known: easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and other items of a similar nature.

  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.

  • The scope of work used to complete the assignment.


After completing the report, what assurance is there that the information is valid?

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:

  • That the information analysis utilized in the appraisal was appropriate.

  • That significant errors of omission or commission were committed neither individually nor collectively.

  • That appraisal services were not rendered in a careless or negligent manner.

  • That a credible, supportable appraisal report was communicated.


Who do appraisers work for?

Typically, appraisers are employed by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.


How are appraisers certified?

Each state has established its own requirements for appraisers to be licensed or certified to appraise real property.