An appraiser is a professional person who can tell you what your home is worth. The appraiser will come to your house and list the number and size of the rooms and any extras, such as a fireplace, porch, pool, or garage. The appraiser will compare your home and property to other homes that have sold recently with similar features. The appraiser then estimates that your home might sell for approximately the same amount of money as similar homes. This is called an ‘appraisal.’ In short, an appraisal is the estimated amount of money your home may sell for.
Although federal and state laws usually require that the lender must hire the appraiser when the appraisal is to be used for a real estate loan, some lenders will allow you to select an appraiser from their list of approved appraisers. For all other appraisals, you are allowed to select your own appraiser.
Licensed real estate appraisers can be found on the internet or by talking to your friends who have previously used an appraiser. Be sure to interview the appraiser carefully to determine if he or she is licensed and experienced in appraising your type of property.
Most licensed appraisers will provide an advance estimate of the cost to perform the appraisal, and many will commit to a fixed fee for the appraisal. It is always wise to obtain a written contract for services which includes a description of what is to be appraised, the scope of the assignment, the anticipated delivery date, the fee and terms of payment.
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