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What is Real Estate Appraisal?

Appraisers: What do they do?

An appraiser is trained to give an objective valuation of a piece of property. Outside of the fee the appraiser charges for their professional services, the appraiser cannot have any additional financial stake in the transaction. Impartiality and confidentiality are of paramount importance.

The appraiser is typically hired by a mortgage lender, not the buyer or seller of the property. Therefore, the lender is the owner of the written appraisal. However, the homebuyer ultimately pays the appraiser's fee. In order to protect homebuyers, banks can no longer handpick their appraisers. Appraisers are assigned at random from a pool of qualified professionals.

Why do I need an appraisal?

An appraisal may be needed:

- To determine the sale price of a home
- To split assets in a divorce
- To settle an estate
- To refinance a mortgage
- To determine the income-producing potential of a property
- To appeal property tax assessment

Appraiser Certification

All real estate appraisers must be licensed or certified by their home state. However, some appraisers choose to continue their education and training beyond the minimum requirements. For instance, there are many professional associations of appraisers. These associations offer appraisers the opportunity to earn professional designations that require additional experience, training, and expertise.

The Appraised Value of a Property

Appraisers have different specialties from residential real estate to vacant and industrial properties. There are several factors that determine the appraised value of the property.

Some factors include:

- Size of the property
- Recent sales in the area, or “comparables”
- Location of the property
- Quality of neighborhood
- Number of bedrooms
- Property’s amenities (fireplaces, pool, etc.)
- Landscaping

Related: Cost of Real Estate Appraisals

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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