what is an appraisal?
A real estate appraisal is the process of valuing real property given a wide range of factors. Appraisals are used for the purposes of financing, taxation, estate settlements or to set a selling price of a property.
The most common type of value sought from an appraisal is market value, which is defined as the price that the property would receive in an open and fair real estate market in an arm's length transaction.
There can be differences in what the property is worth (market value) versus what the property costs to purchase (price). The price paid may not represent market value, and it is the purpose of an appraiser to estimate the true market value property (and not its market price).
When an appraiser is hired to complete an appraisal, there are several steps required to determine the final estimate of value.
First, there is a visual property inspection. The appraiser will visit the property to take photos, measurements, and make notes about its physical condition, finishes, as well as any improvements and additions. The visit will also include an exterior site inspection. The appraiser will inspect any site improvements on the subject property, such as garages, decks and patios. Once the inspection has been completed on the home, the appraiser will also take note of surrounding site influences and how the property conforms to neighboring properties in the vicinity.
When the property inspection is complete, the appraiser will apply gathered and reasearched information to determine the final estimate of value. This involves collecting data from the Calgary Real Estate Board, MLS system, and even the appraiser's own files on properties that are similar to the subject property.
The final real estate appraisal report is typically finished within 24hrs and in some cases same day completion can also be requested.
A home appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. If you are purchasing a home, hiring a home inspector is recommended and the inspector will advise on any problems or issues of the home itself. Property appraisers will make note of any obvious issues but they will not test your heat and air, check the roof or determine if your house is up=to-code.