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What is Your Home Worth? Real Estate Appraisals

Thinking of selling your house? Wondering how much your home is worth? Then you'll likely want to have your home appraised.

What is a Real Estate Appraisal?
A real estate appraisal is principally done to find out the market value of a property. It is also used to appeal tax assessments, to plan estates, to determine the cost of renovations, the cost of home insurance and for mortgage purposes. Real estate or home appraisals can be used for buying or selling a property. If a home buyer needs to take out a loan from the bank using real estate as security for the loan, the bank will require a home appraisal to guarantee the real estate is worth as much as the loan.

What Does an Real Estate Appraiser Do?
A real estate appraiser documents the condition of a property, the amount of space in the property and compares it to at least three other homes in your area. She will create a detailed report on the assets and flaws of your property, the type of neighbourhood you live in and the length of time it should take for your house to sell on the market. An appraiser will make note of any major defects in your house like a holes in the walls, chipped paint, broken windows or a deteriorating foundation.

How to Find a Real Estate Appraiser
If you are seeking a loan, your lender may assign an appraiser to you. In this case, make sure you obtain a copy of the appraisal as you have the legal right to this information. Then, if you dispute the home appraisal value or find something inaccurate, you can make an official complaint or ask for another appraisal.

How Are Real Estate Appraisers Licensed?
Appraisers are licensed by the state and can be found through your real estate directory, real estate offices, or the bank. There are various disciplines that appraisers are trained in: real estate appraisal, personal property appraisal, business appraisal and mass appraisal. If you are looking to buy or sell your home, you will need a real estate appraisal service. You should ask a potential real estate apprasial candidate about where they obtained their training and certification.

Avoid Appraisal Fraud
To avoid appraisal fraud, check with the state regulatory board of real estate appraisals before you hire someone. Look for an appraiser that belongs to a professional appraisal organization, as this is an indication they are committed to their job and job ethics. You will want to someone who will be objective and someone who has no financial ties to your business transactions.

What Credentials Does an Appraiser Have?
To become licensed by the state or approved by a certain organization, an appraiser must acquire a certain amount of education and experience and pass an official examination. The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation provides the criteria needed for licensed real property appraisers. Appraisers do not necessarily require a college or university education. The amount of education an appraisal candidate needs depends on the particular organization she is receiving her certification from.

Training of Real Estate Appraisers
Real estate candidates are expected to train under a certified appraiser while they are obtaining their education. When they have gained sufficient experience, that can range from 2000 hours for licensed residential appraisers to 3000 hours for certified general appraisers, they will need to write an exam.

Instant Home Appraisals
Do not rely on an instant home appraisal that you can find on the internet. These are not dependable sources of information and will probably provide you with false data. You will want to look for organizations that offer certified home appraisals and have the experience, references and credentials to prove it.