Advice on House Appraisals

The following article was written by Cory Lowe, writer for Courthouse Direct. CourthouseDirect.com is an online resource for property tax documents, deed reports, public records and other government documents.

Having your home appraised will give you a sense of its real market value. It will put you in the driver’s seat if you are about to put your home on the market. Knowing what similar homes in the area are worth will enable you to price your home in a manner that will entice able buyers.

Do the Work First

If you plan on doing work on your home to increase its sale price, complete it before you hire an appraiser. While a qualified and experienced property appraiser will be able to estimate the value of work that hasn’t been done yet, it is still just an estimation. It is far better for you to have the work done and get the property appraised for its real worth.

The appraiser you hire should be familiar with the area your home is in. Nothing beats living close by, although a good appraiser will be able to see the value in a home no matter what neighborhood it stands in. The best home appraisers are willing to do their homework for the area. If you have fire stations or schools in the area, make sure their presence is shown in the evaluation.

Qualifications of Home Appraisers

Not all states require a home appraiser to be certified or licensed. You can find out if your state requires certification by visiting your state’s website or by calling city hall. It is best to use the services of a house appraiser who is certified, because this means certain standards have been met. Any reputable appraiser will say yes if you ask to see a copy of his license. You can see if your appraiser is in good standing by visiting the asc.gov website.

The Appraisal Institute has 23,000 professionals in 60 countries around the world. Real estate appraisers who belong to this global association have access to an array of educational programs, and many of them are designated as SRA, MAI and SRPA professionals. These certifications usually go above and beyond what most states require of home appraisers.

Hire an Appraiser Who is on Your Side

Do not hesitate to ask your home appraiser questions. Ideally, the person doing the appraising will have experience working for home owners. Some appraisers gain their experience working for real estate professionals. Lenders and mortgage companies have different needs than home owners when it comes to property evaluation. If you use a home appraiser who is used to working for home owners, he will better be able to answer any questions you might have.