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What Appraisers Do

September 21, 2012

Appraisers are an integral part of the real estate profession.  When someone applies for a home mortgage loan, the lender calls an appraiser to give an educated opinion of what the property is worth.  Appraisers are also hired to establish values for homes that are part of estates or homes that are being sold as a result of divorce.

Appraisals can vary greatly.  The appraiser looks for “comparables”, or nearby homes that are similar to the property being appraised.  They try to use comparable properties that have sold within 6 months of the appraisal.  Since no two houses are identical, the final decision requires the appraiser’s discretion.  They make adjustments for the differences between the comparable homes and the property being appraised, adding value for a fireplace or giving credit for a new roof or exceptional landscaping. Professionals sometimes disagree, so their final figures can be different.

Your Realtor can provide market information to help the appraiser reach a decision.

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