Data is collected on recent sales of properties similar to the subject being valued, called "comparables". Only SOLD properties may be used in an appraisal and determination of a property's value, as they represent amounts actually paid or agreed upon for properties. Sources of comparable data include real estate publications, public records, buyers, sellers, real estate brokers and/or agents, appraisers, and so on. Important details of each comparable sale are described in the appraisal report. Since comparable sales are not identical to the subject property, adjustments may be made for date of sale, location, style, amenities, square footage, site size, etc. The main idea is to simulate the price that would have been paid if each comparable sale were identical to the subject property. If the comparable is superior to the subject in a factor or aspect, then a downward adjustment is needed for that factor.[clarification needed] Likewise, if the comparable is inferior to the subject in an aspect, then an upward adjustment for that aspect is needed.[clarification needed] The adjustment is somewhat subjective and relies on the appraiser's training and experience. From the analysis of the group of adjusted sales prices of the comparable sales, the appraiser selects an indicator of value that is representative of the subject property. It is possible for various appraisers to choose a different indicator of value which ultimately will provide different property value.
An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home's value. Appraisals are almost always used in purchase and sale transactions and commonly used in refinance transactions. In a purchase and sale transaction, an appraisal is used to determine whether the home's contract price is appropriate given the home's condition, location, and features. In a refinance, it assures the lender that it isn't handing the borrower more money than the home is worth. 
"What is my house worth?"  These real estate appraisers can answer that and much more all over Pinellas County.  Whether it is appraising your home for a property tax appeal if your property taxes are too high, valuing your home for estate work or a divorce or helping you secure a HELOC, a local appraiser is best.  They obviously also appraise new construction homes as well as existing homes, and can do it for a home listing, before or after a sale.  They use the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to gather data on sales and listings and use them to professionally tell you what the price per square foot should be for your home and others in your area.  They also can determine if there's any effect on the value of your home from pending foreclosures, REOs, and other "short sales" in Pinellas County.  A licensed and certified appraiser's estimates of value on residential single family homes, condos, townhouses and more are much better than what you'll find when using an AVM (automated valuation model) or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion).  They can do an appraisal for VA, FHA, conventional, jumbo, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purposes, and routinely provide those reports on URAR, drive-by, and 1004 MC (1004 Market Condition) forms as well as others.
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