The Home Appraisal Process
understanding the process
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  Stanley & Company
4095 SE I-10, FT
Sealy, Texas 77474
Phone: 281-597-1722
Fax: 281-597-1244
Email:
StanleyCo@ReAppraiser.com
www.ReAppraiser.com


© 2000 Stanley & Company


  

UNDERSTANDING THE HOME APPRAISAL PROCESS:

WHAT CONSUMERS SHOULD KNOW…AND WHY

 

Knowledge of the home appraisal process -- and the differing credentials of those who

provide appraisal services -- benefits home buyers and sellers alike. This knowledge is a

powerful information tool to help them make wise real estate investment and sales

decisions.

The appraisal process and written reporting formats vary, depending upon the nature and

purpose of the appraisal. But the appraisal’s fundamental purpose is this: To establish a

well-researched, impartial and carefully documented estimate of property value, thereby

protecting the interests of buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders and other involved parties.

 

Mortgage Financing/Refinancing and the Appraisal

Home buyers seeking financing, and homeowners seeking refinancing, are required by

their mortgage lenders to underwrite the cost of an appraisal, which typically ranges from

$200 and $400. Indeed, the appraisal is the essential component in determining loan

limits for the property in question.

Mortgage lenders typically select appraisers from “approved” lists they compile and

maintain. Consumers can request a copy of these lists and request that an appraiser be

selected with specific credentials or formal professional designations.

 

Who Owns the Appraisal

Consumers pay for their home/property appraisals. But their lending institution

legally owns the appraisal report document. Unless the lender “releases its interest” in

the document, it remains the lending institution’s property.

 

Request and Read the Appraisal

Consumers must be given a copy of the appraisal report, upon written request, under the

Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It is in their best financial interest to make this request

and to take the time to carefully review the report.

The written appraisal contains valuable and often-revealing information -- including the

legal and physical description of the property, square footage measurements, list of

comparable properties in the neighborhood, a neighborhood description, and a narrative

of current real-estate activity and/or market trends in the vicinity.

 

Seeking the Best-Qualified Appraiser: Protect Your Major Investment

To get the most accurate and impartial appraisal by the best-qualified appraisal

professional, consumers should distinguish between appraisers who are only state

licensed or certified and those who have demonstrated the advanced levels of education

and experience required for membership in the Appraisal Institute. Cost considerations

are likely to be negligible.

 

Appraisal Institute-designated professionals must:

· Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of real

property appraising by passing a series of rigorous examinations .

· Have the proven ability to produce concise, well-reasoned valuations and reports that

conform to the Appraisal Institute’s strict Code of Ethics and Standards of

Professional Practice.

· Display technical skills in various appraisal assignments.

· Hold an undergraduate degree from a four-year accredited college or equivalent.

· Fulfill continuing-education requirements to maintain their certification.

This commitment to professionalism makes Appraisal Institute members the preferred

choice for real estate appraisal services.