Purposes of the Appraisal

Premises of Value

Appraisal Process

Why Hire an Appraiser?


When do you need an Appraisal

Every year, countless people in the United States buy, sell or refinance their own slice of the American Dream. Most, if not all, of these transactions include a simple line item for an appraisal. It has become an understood and accepted part of a real and personal property transaction. ''Let's bring in the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this property.''

But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services of a certified, licensed, independent real estate and personal property professional might come in handy?

Property Tax Challenges

It's a running joke that every one has a different perspective of what an industrial building or a machinery and equipment is worth.  And it's the tax assessor that seems to always come in at the high end of the scale! Challenging the tax assessment has become an annual ritual in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, most people go into these challenges unarmed. They may pull some information from the internet to support their claims, but have no real basis other than: ''It wasn't worth that much last year.''

A real estate and an industrial equipment appraiser can help in these situations. While it may not be economical to commission a full appraisals to lop a few hundred off your tax bill, often an appraiser can do a summary appraisal or limited for much less. These documents can carry a lot of weight when you appear before an appeals board.

Pre-Sale Decisions

Before someone decides to sell a property, there are several decisions to be made. First and foremost: ''How much should it sell for?'' But first there may be other equally important questions to ask: ''Should we make any improvements to the property?"  Many things which we do to our property have an effect on their value. Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. While a certain equipment upgrade or an overhaul to a vehicle may improve the function, it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense.

Appraisers can step in and help make these decisions.  An appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the property sells for. His fee is based on his efforts, not a percentage of the sales price. So seeking a professional appraisal can often help property owners make the best decisions on investing in their property and setting a fair sales price.

Liquidation or Divorce

Here too, an appraiser can help. Often the first step in fairly disposing of a real estate and personal property is to understand its true value. Where property is involved, the appraiser can help determine the true value. At this point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.

There are other uses for real estate appraisals. The highly-trained individuals behind these services are always looking for ways to put their expertise to work for home owners and the people who support them.