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Getting the Right Home Appraisal

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By : Lina Horner    99 or more times read
Selling your home without getting a proper appraisal done is like opening your bulging wallet in a hurricane your hard-earned money will be sucked away with the wind. This is because without a good appraisal, your home may be under priced and you could lose a great offer, or overpriced so it won't sell. Either way, you have done yourself a disservice.

You may also want to get an impartial appraisal done on your home if you are not immediately selling for other reasons such as: refinancing a mortgage, purchasing home insurance, reducing property taxes, or facilitating divorce proceedings, to name a few.

Who can you trust to give you the best appraisal?

No matter who you hire for an appraisal, the underlying purpose is to develop a carefully documented estimate of your house and property value through in-depth research. The completed document protects the interests of several parties, including the buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders and other people involved in the transaction.

If you require an appraisal for your mortgage lender, you will be responsible for the cost of the document, which is approximately $200-400. Most lenders will have a list of appraisers they trust, so it is in your best interest to play in their ballpark and choose a company they are familiar with. Although you actually pay for the appraisal services, the lender is the one who owns the document, unless they legally release the papers to you. You will receive a copy for your reference.

Be aware that some areas do not require a license or certification for real estate appraisal. However, it would serve you well to find a qualified and certified person for the job.

Ask if the appraiser is accredited with a professional Canadian designation including AACI (Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute) and the CRA (Canadian Residential Appraiser). Appraisers who have made the effort to receive these certifications are committed to their craft and upholding the ethical standards for which the designations stand.

Be sure your appraiser knows your neighbourhood.

When you are dealing with an appraiser, ask how many homes he or she has appraised in your neighbourhood. This is important, as these appraisers will be very familiar with property values in your area. They will also have a strong knowledge about additional factors that affect property values, such as nearby schools, shopping and fire department access.

Home appraisals are primarily subjective, so it is important to have up-to-date information including the current market value in your area. This figure could change in coming months depending on the volatility of the real estate industry.
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