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What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an unbiased opinion of value, completed by a highly trained and qualified individual (or team), who specializes in valuations, and more importantly, has no current, or future interest in the in the subject being appraised, or affiliation with the client who is the intended user of the appraisal. The appraiser's fee is not contingent upon the amount of value, therefore their opinion is considered fair and impartial.

When is an appraisal necessary?

There are many situations when an appraisal may be necessary. While appraisals are most commonly completed for mortgage finance or investment purposes, they may be completed for several other reasons as well. Often times, attorneys or accountants will require you to obtain an appraisal for reasons such as estate settlement, estate tax returns, or bankruptcy filings. Other of the most common reasons for requiring an appraisal are when it comes time to offer your property for sale, or in the case that you are interested in purchasing a home privately, and when there is no existing basis for value.

How do I know what kind of appraisal I need?

In most cases, there are few differences between the appraisal report formatting, and a general purpose appraisal form will fulfill the requirement. However, there are nuances between the various intended uses of the appraisal, and the necessary formatting, which is why we will require the upfront disclosure if the intended use and users of the report. Even so, every home and situation is uniquely different, and there are many different appraisal report formats to meet your individual or institutional needs. Appraisal Land appraisers have experienced most kinds of valuation scenarios before, and feel very comfortable suggesting the right product to meet your needs. If you have something more unique, we will  work with you to establish a custom scope of work, discussing various options with you before arriving at the ideal scope of work for a specific assignment or client. In this way, we make sure the product you receive is exactly what you need, and what you need is exactly what you receive. 

How is an appraisal different from a BPO or CMA?

An appraisal is an opinion of value provided by a highly trained professional, whose training is solely focused on valuation, and who is bound by certain ethics.

A BPO (broker's price opinion) is used for establishing a quick sale price for a foreclosure property, typically requested by lending institutions in the case where the risk level and property value are very low. The price may reflect the damaged condition of the property due to vandalism or mold.

CMA's (comparative market analysis) are complimentary roundabout figures, printed off the multiple listing service (MLS), which include third-party data. CMA's are provided by real estate agents to help with pricing your home for sale. They are used as an instrument for procuring a listing agreement, and usually reflect a price that is higher than actual fair market value.

An appraisal includes specific comparable sales selected to form the basis for the valuation, which are adjusted to the subject property utilizing proven methodologies. The appraiser has no future interest in the sale of the property (receives no commission), therefore the opinion of value is unbiased.