Appraisers Home in on Value

Each party in a home sale transaction has an agenda. The seller, naturally, wants to sell the house for as much as possible. But the buyer hopes to negotiate a lower price. Individual needs skew each person's perception of what a property is worth.

Enter the real estate appraiser—a professional who can determine the value of the property, but who has no vested interest in the sales transaction. The hallmark of a good appraisal is that it's independent, objective, and impartial.

In a real estate transaction, the lender hires the appraiser. The appraiser's task is to determine whether the property has sufficient value to secure a loan.

Confusion sometimes surrounds the roles of appraisers and home inspectors, which are totally different functions. An inspector, hired by the prospective home buyer, scrutinizes a house inside and out, from the roof to the basement floor, to search for any structural or mechanical problems.

An appraiser, hired by the lender, aims to develop an overall impression of a property and its market value. The appraiser walks through a property, looking at it through the eyes of a typical prospective buyer.

The final step that goes into an appraisal is to compare the property with similar ones in the neighborhood that recently have sold. What did these get in the marketplace?

A seller or buyer who feels the appraiser's evaluation missed the mark can ask that the appraiser reconsider. The seller would go through the real estate agent to make that request; the buyer would approach the lender.

But anyone questioning an appraiser's opinion ought to have hard facts to back up his or her argument. After all, the appraiser is the one who is likely to be the most objective about the property's value. All parties benefit when appraisers are allowed to do their job, without interference.

If you're considering purchasing a house, Harvard Credit Union can help so stop by any of our convenient branch locations today. Want more info? Check out our Home Buying Help Center. You can also call 617-495-4460 or email us for more information.



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