Are real estate appraisals really necessary?
Because much private, corporate, and public wealth lies in real estate, the determination of its value is essential to the economic well-being of society. It is the job of the professional appraiser to determine these values by gathering, analyzing, and applying information pertinent to a property. Unquestionably, the professional opinion of the appraiser, backed by extensive training and knowledge, influences the decisions of people who own, manage, sell, purchase, invest in, and lend money on the security of real estate. And because the appraiser is trained to be an impartial third party in the lending process, this professional serves as a vital "check in the system," protecting real estate buyers from overpaying for property as well as lenders from over lending to buyers.
All designated real estate appraisers must be certified and have fulfilled rigorous education and experience requirements and must adhere to strict standards by the Appraisal Institute of Canada and abide by a professional code of ethics.
How long does an appraisal take?
The physical inspection of the real property being appraised can take from approximately ten minutes to 30 minutes, depending upon the size and complexity involved.
After the initial inspection of the property the appraiser spends time touring through the neighbourhood or area. The purpose of this tour is to search for comparable sales (other properties that are similar to the property being appraised) that have sold within the last six months to a year or so. When the field work is finished, the appraiser completes the report at his office. The report can consist of a short form report (typically under ten pages) to a long narrative report which can sometimes exceed a hundred pages. A short form report usually takes between three to six hours to complete. A narrative report can take weeks or sometimes even months, depending upon the complexity of the assignment.
Appraisal VS. Engineer or Whole House Inspection?
The appraiser is not a whole house inspector, engineer, architect, electrician, plumber, H.V.A.C. technician or contractor. The appraiser briefly walks through the house to get an idea of the general condition and room count. An appraisal is not a guarantee of condition. The appraiser will ask about any visible problems and those which may not be visible, and will do his/her best to gauge any impact on value attributable to those problems. You are encouraged to seek the advice of experts if you have any questions about the structural or mechanical aspects.
What does the appraiser look for?
Typically, an appraiser needs to document the condition of the property, both inside and out, from the layout and features to degree of modernization including any updates as well as the overall quality of construction. This information will help to assist the appraiser throughout the valuation and comparison process.
The appraiser estimates the square footage (living area), by measuring the exterior of the home. such as garages or covered porches, aren't included in GLA, but are accounted for and considered in value separately . The local market will dictate the contributory value of the finished basement, which can be influenced by governmental regulations, the degree of modernization, the quality of the finish, and other factors.
The appraiser will generally consider only permanent fixtures and real property. Because many above-ground swimming pools and small sheds are not permanent structures, they typically usually aren't included in the valuation. Depending on the specific installation process and local custom, however, an above ground pool or small shed might be considered part of the real property.
If my appraisal comes out higher than my tax value, could my real estate taxes go up?
Absolutely not!. The appraiser is required to maintain confidentiality with the client, which would typically be you or the bank (in a mortgage related appraisal), not the City tax departments.
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