When everything goes smoothly, the home appraisal is just another box to tick on a closing checklist. When the appraisal value is lower than expected, the transaction can be delayed or even canceled. Regardless of which situation you encounter in your home buying, selling or refinancing experience, a basic understanding of how the appraisal process functions can only work in your favor.
The appraiser has to think about the way that most buyers usually buy a given type of property. What appraisal method do most buyers use for the type of property being valued? This generally guides the appraiser's thinking on the best valuation method, in conjunction with the available data. For instance, appraisals of properties that are typically purchased by investors (e.g., skyscrapers, office buildings) may give greater weight to the Income Approach. Buyers interested in purchasing single family residential property would rather compare price, in this case, the Sales Comparison Approach (market analysis approach) would be more applicable. The third and final approach to value is the Cost Approach to value. The Cost Approach to value is most useful in determining insurable value, and cost to construct a new structure or building.

Unfortunately, recent distressed sales in the surrounding area can lower your home's appraisal value. If you feel that your home's value has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you may be able to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more if it's in significantly better condition than those properties. Sellers should also know that federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal values that contributed to the 2008 housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.
We have compiled property records in a single, comprehensive property report which can provide you with lots of answers to your questions. How high are current property taxes? Is an increase in property taxes expected for the next year? How much did the current owner pay for this property? Were there any permits filed recently on the property indicating repairs and maintenance work? What is the official size (square footage) of the property? How does the home's sales history look, judging from the available property deed records? Get answers to these questions using PropertyShark, so you can confidently make your home buying decision.

Real property appraisers usually value one property at a time, while assessors value many at once. However, both occupations use similar methods and techniques. As a result, assessors and appraisers tend to take the same courses for certification. In addition to passing a statewide examination, candidates must usually complete a set number of on-the-job hours.


In the United States, appraisals are for a certain type of value (e.g., foreclosure value, fair market value, distressed sale value, investment value). The most commonly used definition of value is Market Value. While Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) does not define Market Value, it provides general guidance for how Market Value should be defined:
As of mid-2016, Valuers in Russia, including real property valuers, are deemed to be purposely-educated individuals maintaining their Valuation SRO membership and bearing unlimited property liability for the result of their services, that is their professional status is modeled on the organization of public notaries. Regardless of the fact, over 80% of valuers tend to be employed by valuation or consulting companies, and thus do not enter practice as stand-alone individual entrepreneurs. High-end appraisal services are principally represented by valuation arms of the International "Big-four" consultancies in the country, but there also exist reputable national corporate valuation brands.
Thanks to Jason Taylor for providing an overview of the services provided by the Orange County Emergency Operations Center in the event of disaster in our area to representatives from our Commercial Real Estate team. As many as 80 representatives from government and community organizations can staff this room to work together to meet the needs of the county and its residents. In the aftermath of an incident, appraisers from our office go into the field and assess damage to residential and commercial buildings which is reported to the federal government.  

Any attempt to accommodate him, any appraisal only leads him to go a step further. — Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Amid the Trumpian Chaos, Europe Sees a Strategy: Divide and Conquer," 13 July 2018 Lenders looked harder at credit histories and property appraisals. — Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Students aren't the only ones crushed by school debt," 11 July 2018 Your mirror and/or a brutally honest friend are your best advisers on a garment-by-garment appraisal. — Ellen Warren, chicagotribune.com, "Going for a strong shoulder with (still stylish) shoulder pads," 10 July 2018 The median price for a luxury home in Fairfield County—categorized as the top 10% of sales—dropped by 6.9% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018, according to data from appraisal firm Miller Samuel. — Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Railroad Chief’s Equestrian Estate Returns for 40% Off," 3 July 2018 Samuels worked for a mortgage company in Landover, Md., and then started her own real estate appraisal business. — Karin Tanabe, Washington Post, "At home with ‘The Real Housewives of Potomac’," 21 June 2018 Services range from: market analysis; marketing; negotiating; on-site representation at the home inspection; repair issues; complying with local/state requirements; paperwork; and appraisal issues. — Anchorage Daily News, "Real estate deal seem to good to be true? Here are a couple warning signs.," 4 May 2018 The big cities of this state are all grappling with the same housing affliction: housing stock that can’t keep pace with rapid population growth and sky-high home appraisals driving people out of their neighborhoods. — Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "City searches for the regulatory sweet spot with short-term rentals," 6 June 2018 The president's own estimates of his net worth are frequently higher than independent appraisals. — chicagotribune.com, "Trump's net worth drops to $2.8 billion, lowest since campaign," 31 May 2018
The seller can lower the price.If the home was overpriced or the value was inflated, often this is the best solution. It makes the buyer happy and the lender is satisfied. There is no guarantee that if the buyer walks away, the seller won't receive a low appraisal from the second buyer's lender, not to mention the time and trouble it takes to sell the property again. Sometimes a bird in the hand is best.
Buyer can make up the difference in cash.The lender cares about the appraisal only to the extent it affects the loan-to-value ratio. A low appraisal does not mean the lender won't lend. It means the lender will make a loan based on the ratio agreed to in the contract at the appraised value. Sometimes the buyer's lender will not allow the buyer to give cash for the difference and, in that event, have the buyer pay instead some of the seller's closing costs.
Onsite appraisals of antiques or residential contents are usually done to appraise multiple items. The average onsite appraisal of an entire home’s contents or collections generally takes 3-4 hours for the onsite evaluation and typically an equal amount of hours off site for research and report development. This is an estimate only. The time spent on site is dependent on multiple factors (please see preparing for an on site appraisal)
The type of real estate "interest" that is being valued, must also be known and stated in the report. Usually, for most sales, or mortgage financings, the fee simple interest is being valued. The fee simple interest is the most complete bundle of rights available. However, in many situations, and in many societies which do not follow English Common Law or the Napoleonic Code, some other interest may be more common. While there are many different possible interests in real estate, the three most common are:

Most jurisdictions have an appeal process for contesting an assessment. While the specific rules vary from one locality to the next, the process typically involves a hearing before an assessment appeal board. Taxpayers who have concerns about their assessment should visit their local Assessor's Office or its website to learn about the appeal process and what information is required in order to appeal a property tax assessment.
The Property Appraiser Association of Florida (PAAF) has developed a 3rd Homestead Exemption Tax Savings Estimator.  The estimator was developed to help voters determine if they will receive any additional benefit from the proposed 3rd Homestead Exemption (Additional $25,000) on the ballot for the November 6, 2018 General Election.  For additional information please see Understanding the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Homestead Exemption.
E-mail: Click on the Request Public Records form to electronically request public records. To help us expedite and avoid delays in processing your request, please be as detailed as possible with the information you are requesting. When you submit a request, it is forwarded to Pinellas County Marketing & Communications for review. The request is then forwarded to the department liaison responsible for processing your request. You will receive an email acknowledging your request and informing you of the steps required to complete your request.
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