Residential Real Estate Appraisals | Electronic Appraisals
Keep Up With Fast Changing Home Values
Pay too much, and you lose money when you sell. Pay too little, and you'll probably want to know why someone is willing to sell below market.
Either way, it's important to know exactly what a property is worth before buying.
Real Estate Appraiser
In addition to determining a home's value, a real estate appraisal will provide such information as square footage, lot size, and rebuilding cost. While residential real estate appraisers - who typically charge from $300 to $500 - are not property inspectors, they will point out problems requiring repair. And they will discount the value of the property by the estimated cost of repairs when documenting the real estate appraisal.
Residential real estate appraisers also make observations about the neighborhood, including property value trends and how long it typically takes to sell a house in the immediate area. Such information comes in handy if you want a second mortgage or anticipate selling your home.
Most mortgage lenders require a real estate appraisal before making a loan. And since you pay for that real estate appraisal, you are entitled to a copy of it. Ask for it and keep it for your records.
If you don't feel comfortable with a value given by the real estate appraiser, experts say, get a second opinion.
A second real estate appraisal adds another dimension, says Joe Alexander, associate director of the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers. "You are going to get a weighted average of the two. If one appraiser missed something or had a different opinion of value, there is a benefit in having an average of the two."
You can also turn to On-Line Appraiser! Electronic appraisals rely on analysis sales information gathered from public records. All real estate sales are recorded in your local county government offices, so the final sales price of a home is public record.
on the Web for assistance at considerably less cost.
Multiple Listing Service MLS
Another solid source of information for property valuation is the Multiple Listing Service known as the MLS. You can access this information online to see similar houses that are listed for sale.
Now, watch out for the tax collector. Every county in every state has a tax assessor's office. That office has access to the same property-value information that you do.
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