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Choosing a Reputable Real Estate Appraiser

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Whether you are buying or selling a home, business or parcel of land the need for an expert opinion about the worth of the property is critical to all parties involved. Real estate appraisers are trained and experienced in the art of figuring out how much property is worth. They take into consideration many factors and come up with an professional opinion about the monetary value of the property. The consumer should interview the appraiser to qualify them to appraise the property. The following will address some areas to identify how good a real estate appraiser is.

Service Area: Look for an appraiser that specializes in your market area. An appraiser from another county may not be as knowledgeable as a local real estate appraiser would be. Some appraisers service two or three counties while others specialize in a single county. It would only be reasonable to consider the local appraiser would have more first hand knowledge of the area. This would be more important for the residential user as commercial properties have more common value attributes requiring the appraiser to research outside the market area.

Years of Experience: The appraisal profession is difficult and takes a minimum of 5 years working with a variety of properties, good education, and a good mentor to produce a competent appraiser. It is said that it would take 10 years to be a good appraiser and after more than 25 years in the business.

References: A list of local appraisers can be obtained from the Yellow Pages, Chamber of Commerce, Association of Realtors, and Internet. Be a wise consumer and gather references prior to hiring the first one you find. Ask a lender, real estate agent, attorney, or accountant for a reference. These professionals are users of appraisal services and are a good place to start.

Qualification of Appraiser: Every appraiser has a qualification sheet that provides background on the types of properties, education, licensing, and associations. Ask the appraiser to email, fax, or mail you a copy for review. The appraiser with a designation from one of the appraisal organizations mentioned has gone beyond the state requirements. This should say they are not satisfied with the minimum requirements and wish to be better than average.

Experience in the type of property you need appraised: Even though an appraiser may have a license to do all residential or commercial type properties, it does not mean they have experience in all types. There is a competency ruling appraisers must follow. If they are not competent in a particular type property, they should not accept the assignment or should align themselves with someone that is competent or take measures to make themselves competent. If you were going to have brain surgery wouldn’t you want someone that has done the surgery before? Apply the same logic to hiring professionals.

Fee Charged: The fee charged should be the last criteria. Not all products are the same and not all fees charged will be the same. Make this your last consideration keeping in mind; you often get what you paid to receive.