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Appraisal FAQs, FYIs, and Tidbits

Why should you get an appraisal?

There are many reasons why you would want to get an appraisal including making pre-sale decisions such as listing price, trying to remove PMI charges from your monthly home payment, and future estate planning.

What is the difference between an Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

The main difference between an appraisal and a CMA is that an appraisal is done by a licensed appraiser where as a CMA is done by a real estate broker. A CMA is an estimate of a home’s value done by a real estate broker to establish an initial listing price. This is done when you decide that you want to sell your property. An appraisal is usually used by lenders when issuing mortgages for refinancing or buying/selling a home.

Where does the appraiser get the information to complete the appraisal?

The appraiser gets his or her information from many locations including local tax assessors records and county courthouse records, interviews with sellers and buyers, the local Multiple Listing Service, other real estate professionals, and their own personal knowledge and information from other appraisals they have performed.

If my appraisal comes out higher than my tax value, could my real estate taxes go up?

No. The appraisal is only an estimation of a property's values based on market research and is not reported to the local tax authorities.

Who actually owns the appraisal when it's complete?

The person actually buying the home does not own the finished appraisal. The appraisal actually belongs to the lender.

How long does it take for you to perform an appraisal?

Each home is different, and will required more time depending on it's size and complexity. Most appraisals range from 30 minutes to over 2 hours.

How do I know what a comparable sale is to my home?

A comparable sale is a property, that is similar to yours in most aspects, is located in a similar and nearby location, and has sold recently. If you have knowledge of what may be comparable sales, let your appraiser know. You may know of a sale that an appraiser does not have access too yet.

What is the biggest factor in setting the price of my home?

There are many factors that go into setting the price of your home, but the single biggest contributor are comparable sales. Comparable sales set the market in your area.