Appraising is a very subjective skill dependent on the appraiser’s ability and experience. Two different appraisers can define the value of a home tens of thousands of dollars apart. There are appraisers that determine home values in your area frequently. They understand the market in our area and appraise appropriately. Another appraiser may come from Peoria to appraise a home in your neighborhood and suggest the value is $5,000 to $45,000 less than the other appraiser.
An appraiser from Peoria may not even take the amenities in your neighborhood into consideration. If they cannot find a comparable property in your area- they might compare your home with a home 3 miles away that is by a train track, a power plant, in the flight path or some other factor that determines value. An appraiser from Peoria may have no clue as to the true value of your home. A real estate appraisal is an estimate of the market value of a property. By, definition, that estimate is an opinion of the most likely price at which a property will change ownership, with neither the buyer nor seller being under pressure to buy or sell.
It is important for you as a seller to work with a Realtor that knows your neighborhood well and helps you determine the accurate price so you do not list your home too low. Many Realtors that do not work in targeted areas and sell homes all over the valley may advertise that they can sell your home in “23 days” for full price. Any Realtor can sell your home for full price in “23 days” if they list your home way below market value. It would be easy for a Realtor to justify a lower price by comparing your home with homes sold in distress or homes in areas that don’t have high resale value.
Appraisers call me quite often wanting to know how I determined the price on a home that recently sold. If the home sold for quite a bit more than comparable homes in the area- the appraiser wants to know why and how that house might be different or similar to a house they are currently appraising. These appraisers are the ones you want working for you- they are truly searching to get you top dollar for your home.
What are 5 things you can do to ensure the best possible appraisal for your home? (1) Get your home into its best possible condition. (2) Accompany the appraiser; ask for a business card. (3) Hand the appraiser a list of the home’s features. (4) Give your appraiser a list of recent, nearby home sale prices. (This shows you have done your homework) (5) Insist the lender give you a copy of the appraisal.