When you have the perfect home picked out and you know this is the home you want, your lender will require you to have an appraisal upon the request to use the home as security for a loan. A real estate appraisal will help in establishing a property’s market value, the sales price it would probably bring the seller, if offered in an open and competitive real estate market.

The reason the lender requires the real estate appraisal is because they want to ensure that the property would sell for at least the amount of money you require for your loan. Simply put, if the lender should ever have to foreclose, they want to ensure they would be able to get their moneys worth.

A real estate appraisal is not to be confused with a comparative market analysis (CMA). Real estate agents commonly use a CMA as a tool to determine a realistic asking price for home sellers. Although, an experienced agent may come extremely close to an appraisal price with the CMA, an real estate appraisal’s report include a lot more detailed information, not to mention the fact that it is the only evaluation report a bank will accept when making the decision of whether or not to loan money.

When having a home appraised for this purpose you should have an appraiser that is an objective third party. The appraiser should have no financial or any other connection with either party involved. If you have never experienced a real estate appraisal before, here are a few things that are included in the report.

There will be many details about the property in question as well as side-by-side comparisons of three different properties like it. There will be an evaluation of the areas overall real estate market. Any issues an appraiser feels can be harmful to the value of the property. Notations about any serious flaws will also be made; these are all coupled with many other items on the detailed appraisal report.

Real estate appraisals come in two different methods for appraising homes. There is the sales comparison method where the market value is estimated by comparing the property to other similar properties that has been sold in the same area. This method uses the similar properties to make several estimates of what they would have sold for if they had the same feature as the property in question.

Then there is the cost method, this is generally used for new properties when the costs of building is known. In this method, the appraiser estimates the costs involved in replacement of the structure if it were to be destroyed.

It is important to note that you should not depend on an appraisal to help you determine if the home is in satisfactory condition. This is a job for a home inspector. During a real estate appraisal, the appraise may take notes about obvious issues, however they will not test appliances, inspect the chimney or roof.

By Rory H. Hawkins