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How to Find a Real Estate Appraiser in 3 Easy Steps

A real estate appraiser is responsible for estimating the value of a single building or a piece of land. They can specialize in either commercial or residential property.

Finding a real estate appraiser can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are new to the real estate market or do not have much experience working with properties or land. However, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to ensure that you find the right person for the job. So, let us discuss 3 easy steps to make choosing a real estate appraiser a little easier.

Do Your Research

When searching for a real estate appraiser, you must first determine whether you need an appraisal or an estimate. Estimates are a more general calculation and can be prepared for the purpose of putting a home on the sales market. They are typically made by real estate agents. Alternatively, appraisals are more exact calculations that consider a number of scientific factors. Appraisals can sometimes be required for tax and loan purposes. For instance, if you are a homeowner and need to find out what your house is worth so that you can figure out your tax liability, or if you want to work out which type of mortgage might be best, then an appraisal could be right for you. Unlike estimates, appraisals must be conducted by trained professionals.If you do in fact need an appraisal, then you can start to compile a shortlist of potential candidates.

As always, be sure to make sure that the appraisers you are going to pursue are licensed or certified. This ensures that they have met standards and are authorized. You can ask to see a copy of the license owned by your appraiser or you can check with an online registry. If your appraiser has any professional designations or memberships, then these are signs of professional excellence and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing education and ethical standards. From there, you can try to find an appraiser who has experience working on property and land in your area. This ensures that that they will have a good knowledge of local property values and neighbourhood variables.

Carry Out an Interview

Before you enter into a working relationship with an appraiser, it is crucial that you meet them first. You need to be absolutely certain that they have the necessary qualifications and can meet your expectations. When meeting an appraiser be sure to check that they are open and honest about their process, and willing to answer any questions. Their communications skills could have an impact on their ability to reach an accurate appraisal. Consequently, you should arrive to the interview with plenty of questions about their strategies, ideologies, and experiences.

Always ask a potential appraiser about any preliminary reports. Preliminary reports ensure that your appraiser has access to as much relevant information about your property or land as possible. They also give you the opportunity to end the appraisal before a final report is issued if you are unhappy. You could even ask about how they will handle issues from outside of their speciality. No appraiser can be a master of all things real estate related so be prepared to ask about other colleagues and experts that they might also depend on.

Seal the Deal

If your initial interview has gone well then it might now be time to finish the actual appraisal agreement. Start by finding out what is included in the final price. Appraisals typically include a multi-page document that includes a description of the property being appraised, the date of the report, its purpose and intended use, the methods and assumptions of the appraiser, and information relating to compliance with any legal form obligations in your area. If you are happy to proceed, then you can sign a service agreement detailing what services will be included, details of the report, an estimated delivery date, and payment information.  

Appraisals are always going to be subjective. Whereas any good appraiser should provide a personal opinion of value based on their estimate of the current market, other appraisers might have differing opinions. The market is also volatile and subject to change. Similarly,the value of your property or land can only ever be taken as an approximation. Nonetheless, appraisals are widely recognised by lenders, buyers, and sellers, and so are still highly valuable. Formal appraisals are used by banks and lenders to ensure that a property or a piece of land is adequate protection for a loan or mortgage. Correspondingly, once you have an official report, this can then be used to sell your property or to secure a loan for a purchase.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that carrying out an appraisal is not an exact science. That being said, if you manage to get an appraisal from an experienced real estate appraiser with reputable market insights, you should be able to get a reliable opinion of the value of your property or land. 

Looking for more real estate tips? If you are looking to get your property or land appraised so that you can move to a new house, then this ultimate real estate guide might come in useful.