What is an appraiser?
Whether you are buying or selling a home, you need to know what an appraiser is.
Whether you are selling or buying a home, you will be reminded again and again about finding a property appraiser. And you would be mistaken not to take the advice.
A home appraisal is a critical part of the real estate transaction process. Yes, critical. Why? Because a real estate valuation will determine the actual value of your home - and ensure you spend your time and money wisely.
Here’s what you need to know about appraisers.
1. The role of an appraiser
The role of an appraiser is to provide you with a professional and unbiased opinion of the property’s worth.
When you are buying, there are often two conflicting numbers to consider: the seller’s asking price and the actual value of the property. The job of the appraiser is to find the actual value before you sign the agreement of purchase and sale.
2. The benefits of an appraisal
Knowing the real value of a property helps you make smart decisions. As a buyer, it is good to know what kind of state the property is in. Properties can have thousands of dollars in hidden repairs. You don’t want a home that is worth less than what you paid for.
But if you are selling, it is a different story. A real estate valuation estimates the property’s listing price on the market. With home improvements, your home’s value can have a significant boost.
3. An appraisal can affect your mortgage
Your home appraisal and mortgage go hand in hand. Your mortgage does not depend on the listing price but on the appraised value. Your lender will look at the actual worth to decide how much mortgage you actually need.
4. The property inspection process
Appraisers inspect a property and the elements that influence their market value.
The inspection takes place on the property. The appraiser will look at interior/exterior conditions, safety code violations, the layout of the property and amenities. For them to make an accurate appraisal, they will ask about the property’s details like original year of construction, updates, renovations, past offers, etc.
5. The appraiser’s client is not you
A common misconception is that the home buyer is the appraiser’s client. But in fact, the mortgage lender is the one hiring the appraiser. The only thing a home buyer does is pay the fee ($300 - $500).
For the home buyer to take a peek at the appraise value report, the lender needs to approve it. Appraisers have client confidentiality and can only disclose information upon authorization as stated under the Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Ask your lender about their policy regarding release of the final appraisal report.
6. The best way to choose an appraiser
Having a trusted appraiser can give you some peace of mind.
Ask your potential appraiser questions about their experience and credentials. Qualified appraisers are easy to spot thanks to the Appraisers Institute of Canada. They ensure the appraiser quality throughout Canada by granting the Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI™) and Canadian Residential Appraiser (CRA™) designations.