An appraisal is a licensed appraiser's opinion of a home's market value based on comparable recent sales of homes in the neighborhood. Appraisals are usually ordered on behalf of a buyer's lender to protect the interests of the lender. The lender's underwriter will compare the appraisal price to the final purchase price of the home to ensure the buyer is not borrowing more than the house is worth. If the home appraises lower than the final sale price, the buyer may be able to renegotiate a lower price with the seller. If the seller won't lower the price, the buyer's lender may ask that the buyer put more money toward the down payment in order to make up the difference. Get an instant estimate of your home's value or learn how to increase your home's appraisal value.
When everything goes smoothly, the home appraisal is just another box to tick on a closing checklist. When the appraisal value is lower than expected, the transaction can be delayed or even canceled. Regardless of which situation you encounter in your home buying, selling or refinancing experience, a basic understanding of how the appraisal process functions can only work in your favor.
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A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of what a home is worth. All lenders order an appraisal during the mortgage loan process so that there is an objective way to assess the home’s market value and ensure that the amount of money requested by the borrower is appropriate. The appraisal can include recent sales information for similar properties, the current condition of the property, and the location of the property, i.e., insight as to how the neighborhood impacts the property’s value.
While no appraiser is infallible, his or her opinion of the value of your home is informed by rigorous training, numerous tests, several years of on-the-job experience and required continuing education. They are also required to substantiate every finding in their reports that could influence a home’s value. Appraisers and their employers (often appraisal management companies) are heavily regulated. Consequences of issuing deliberately misleading or biased reports can be severe, so appraisers work hard to remain impartial and keep personal value judgments and prejudices out of their work.

You may ask when is an appraisal service needed? Appraisals are generally required whenever real property is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed. In most countries, appraisers are required to be licensed and certified to properly value property and land. So if you are looking to purchase a home in the near future you will notice that your bank will order an appraisal to value the property to make sure that it's worth the value that you are borrowing from them.
The various U.S. appraisal groups and international professional appraisal organizations have started collaborating in recent years towards the development of International Valuation Standards. This will facilitate global real estate appraisal standards, a much-needed adjunct to real estate investment portfolios which cross national boundaries. Some appraisal groups are already international organizations and thus, to some extent, already incorporate some level of global standards.
Although appraisers and assessors of real estate work in offices, they may spend a large part of their time conducting site visits to assess properties. Time spent away from the office depends on the specialty. For example, residential appraisers tend to spend less time on office work than commercial appraisers, who might spend up to several weeks analyzing information and writing reports on one property. Appraisers who work for banks and mortgage companies generally spend most of their time inside the office, making site visits only when necessary.
The role of a real estate appraiser is to provide honest, impartial and objective opinions regarding the market value of the property in the form of an appraisal. This service plays a huge role in assisting those who own, manage, sell, invest, and/or lend money on the security of real estate. Appraisers will gather facts, stats, and any other information regarding said property. From there they will put their analytical skills to test in analyzing this data, exercising sound judgement, and communicating this effectively in their appraisal report.
Officials estimate the county is foregoing $49,301 in property taxes during the ten years on all properties. St. Petersburg, which also is waiving property taxes earmarked for the city, would be giving up about $62,343 in ad valorem taxes over the ten years. The actual amount won’t be known until the Pinellas County Property Appraiser values the real estate.
There are also voluntary professional bodies for real estate valuation such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors ('RICS') and the Property Institute of New Zealand ('PINZ'). Both of these bodies have a wider membership, beyond real estate valuers. PINZ has over 2,500 members in New Zealand and overseas (such as ex-pats in the UK, Asia and Australia). PINZ has a service level agreement with the NZIV, whereby PINZ contracts to perform tasks for the statutory professional body, NZIV. PINZ was formed in 2000 to act as the voice of the property professions. There have been 'political divisions' within the valuation profession in New Zealand, expressed at AGMs and through 'proxy wars' over the last 20 years or so. Many valuers are supportive of amalgamation of the NZIV functions under the multi-disciplinary voluntary body PINZ, whilst many others wish to retain a separate statutory professional body for valuers (the NZIV). There are various reasons in the debate and the governing legislation is under review and amendments or repeal is being considered. At present, the Act remains in force and the NZIV is legally a distinct body with statutory functions, powers and duties.
Unfortunately, recent distressed sales in the surrounding area can lower your home's appraisal value. If you feel that your home's value has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you may be able to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more if it's in significantly better condition than those properties. Sellers should also know that federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal values that contributed to the 2008 housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.
The Federal German Organisation of Appointed and Sworn Experts (Bundesverband Deutscher Sachverständiger und Fachgutachter, abbr. BDSF)[22] is the main professional organization encompassing the majority of licensed appraisers in Germany. In recent years, with the move towards a more global outlook in the valuation profession, the RICS has gained a foothold in Germany, somewhat at the expense of the BDSF. Another German Organisation of Appointed and Sworn Experts is the (Deutsche Sachverständigen Gesellschaft, abbr. DESAG)[23] This organization also includes a large number of licensed appraisers in Germany.
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