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The Importance of Hiring a Local Real Estate Appraiser to Value Your Property

Todays Date: January 16, 2019

Some websites offer online services to estimate property values based on data collected through various means. While these services may seem quick and easy, computer generated reports are often extremely inaccurate due to use of outdated and often unreliable resources. While these websites may give a general idea of valuation trends, in no way can the reports created by such sites be relied on to give an accurate fair market value for a given property. The skills and knowledge of a local real estate appraiser can’t be replaced by these computerized tools.

Highly trained professional real estate appraisers, while more expensive, can effectively determine a home’s true value and also take into account variables a computer generated report can’t. Desirable factors such as a highly rated school system, economic development and surrounding neighborhoods can drastically affect a home’s value positively. Areas that are run down but in the midst of a gentrification process are unlikely to get a fair appraisal from a computer model, someone untrained or out of the area. Only a local appraiser will be familiar with rising or declining valuations and building trends in specified locations.

Choosing a reputable local appraiser can be the difference between a good appraisal and a bad one. This comes into play whether you need a property valuation during a divorce, for an estate settlement, or to satisfy a lender requirement for a mortgage. If an appraiser is not closely acquainted with the market area they serve, many factors used to determine a home’s value may be inadvertently omitted from the calculations. Without this familiarity with current market area trends, an appraiser from outside the area may give a skewed value of the property.

Due to the difficulty of dealing with an ever increasing number of foreclosed homes, banks and other financial institutions are starting to hire real estate brokers to complete BPOs (Broker Price Opinion) instead of paying appraisers for a home’s valuation. Although BPOs are likely to be more accurate than computer generated reports in establishing a property’s value, there is a fair amount of controversy as to whether or not real estate agents have sufficient training to accurately complete these reports.

BPO services cost less than a uniform appraisal report; however, much like their computer generated counterparts, BPOs often omit crucial information. Many lenders do not even require an in-depth inspection or interior inspection of a home, for example. How can anyone hope for any type of realistic property valuation without an on-site inspection?

Appraisers are required to complete a stringent course of training through accredited educational facilities before they are licensed or certified. In some states, appraisers must also complete an apprenticeship under a more seasoned professional prior to being permitted to value property independently. A good appraiser will look at all aspects of the property, including square footage, room count, types of rooms, condition of property, lot size, neighborhood trends and comparable properties in the area that have sold recently, as well as comparable properties currently on the market.

While BPOs from real estate brokers or computer generated reports can be obtained more quickly than full appraisals, a complete appraisal report is lengthy and in-depth. The final report will delineate every factor that went into the final valuation of the property.

Searching for a qualified appraiser in your area is relatively easy. Neighborhood banks and lenders are a great referral source. Searching an online directory or your local yellow pages can be another viable source as well when looking for a professional appraiser.

In the San Francisco Bay and Central Valley areas, call on Market Appraisal Group for reliable, accurate real estate valuation services with quick turnaround times. Their state certified and licensed appraisers are experienced with valuing all types of properties for mortgage lending, estate planning, PMI removal, and divorce and settlement disputes.

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