Experience and reputation matter when you're selecting a real estate appraiser
Hiring the right real estate appraiser is extremely important when you need to know the true value of your home. Real estate appraisals can be the deciding factor in the price you set for your home, if you can refinance and the amount you may get in a home equity loan.
Real estate appraisals from well-respected appraisers are key to working with many lenders. In fact, the lender refinancing your home or financing your buyer may require a real estate appraisal from one of their approved appraisers.
Real estate appraisers assess the real value of your property. They visit your home and take pictures and measurements of every space. An appraiser looks critically at your home structure, maintenance and amenities. He or she will set the value of your home based on its size, age, improvements you've done and needed repairs. A real estate appraiser also compares your home to comparable homes that have sold in your area, or locations like yours, in the past six months. Therefore, it helps if the appraiser you hire knows the value of your neighborhood.
First, you need to find out if the potential real estate appraiser is licensed to practice in your state and what type of licenses they hold.If they have a trainee license, they will most likely need to have their appraisal approved by a more qualified appraiser. If they have standard or certified licenses, they'll be able to appraise most properties.
You'll also want to know how long each prospect has been a home appraiser. Critical property evaluations require appraisers with plenty of experience with your type of property. The general consensus is that you'll want to choose appraisers who have at least five years of experience. Appraisers who typically look at homes in neighborhoods with single-family tract houses may not be the best choice to evaluate an urban multi-family condo building. Choose an appraiser who knows exactly how to value your type of property.
You can also ask potential appraisers what kind of market data they use when making their evaluations. You want to choose appraisers who have the most up-to-date information available. In today's market, that information is constantly changing and you want to choose someone who has the tools to keep abreast of the latest fluctuations.
Ask your lender, local chamber of commerce and area real estate agents for recommendations if you need help selecting a real estate appraiser. For appraisal comparisons, go to RealtyNow to see what your home is worth.