If this is your first time buying a home, then you might not be aware of what an appraisal is, why it’s important, and what the process will look like.
We want to give you tips about the real estate appraisal process to help you better prepare for what to expect. Even though an appraisal may seem challenging, don’t worry.
Our excellent staff here at R.E. Appraisal Associates will help you through the process every step of the way. But first, let’s talk about what an appraisal is exactly.
What Is an Appraisal?
In simplest terms, an appraisal is an opinion of the value of something from a certified, unbiased appraisal expert. Different appraisers will be certified to appraise different things.
When dealing with real estate, an appraisal is done by a certified real estate appraiser. Most of the time, a real estate appraiser will live in the area or at least have worked in the area for some time.
They will be an expert on the real estate market in your area and be familiar with the types of properties in your area.
It doesn’t matter if the property is old, new, commercial, residential, or land for future property. A certified real estate appraiser will be able to access the property/land and tell you what the current market value is.
Why Is an Appraisal Important?
So why is an appraisal important? There are many answers to that question.
First of all, an appraisal is a necessary part of receiving a mortgage loan. Any time you go to your mortgage lender and ask for a loan for a home they need to dot their i’s and cross their t’s.
Making sure that they approve you for the appropriate loan amount for the property at the time of purchase is important for them.
That is why they require any home buyer to have an appraisal done. It’s to ensure they aren’t lending you more than what the property is actually worth in the current market.
So we understand why it is important for home buyers, but why is it important for a home seller?
Home sellers will often use a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to figure out a rough estimate of what a home is worth. This is done by a real estate agent or a broker so it isn’t an official or certified value for your home.
Although CMA’s are helpful when preparing to put your house on the market they are not a guarantee of the house’s actual value.
This has the potential to affect your home sale.
If your CMA comes back at $250,000 and you will probably put your home on the market for that price. What do you think will happen if a deal goes through and when the appraisal is done you find out that the home is only worth $230,000?
The buyer’s mortgage lender is not likely to approve that amount. Potentially, the deal could fall through which would be a huge waste of time and money.
Even though this doesn’t happen very often, it does happen. Especially when the market is as volatile as it is now.
What Is the Real Estate Appraisal Process?
To be honest, the real estate appraisal process is not all that complicated. From a home buyer/seller’s perspective, there isn’t a lot that you will need to do.
The real estate appraisal process starts by scheduling an appointment with an appraiser to come out and view the property (or you could do your appraisal virtually).
Then, all that is left for you to worry about is the appraisal. A certified real estate appraiser will come to the property and will simply take a look around. They will look at all the rooms, storage areas, and around the outside of the property.
It is really common for the appraiser to take pictures and write down notes while conducting the appraisal so they can look back on them later when finalizing their appraisal report.
But that is not all they will look at. Once they leave the home, they will do some research on the property to look for anything else that might change or affect the home’s value. They will look at MLS and other online sources for additional information on the property.
Once they have done that, they will need to move into the last stage of the real estate appraisal process. Looking at comps (comparables) helps them to figure out what the current market is selling houses like yours for.
That is why they are called comps. They are houses that are similar to yours and in your same area that has recently sold. Looking at what those homes have sold for is what determines what your home will be priced at.
Once the appraiser has finalized their report, they will send it out and you can move forward with the closing of the sale.
If you want to learn more about the real estate appraisal process, what to expect, or if you have any other questions, just contact us. Here at R.E. Appraisal Associates, we care about you and your experience when buying or selling your home.
We want the appraisal process to be simple for you. So give us a call today at (941) 743-3700.