If you are planning on securing funding from a bank or other lending institution for the purchase of your home, that institution will require an appraisal by a third-party. This appraisal will be used to establish an independent opinion of the value of the home, which assures the bank that their loan is adequately secured.
Four levels of certification
Appraisers in Massachusetts arecertified at four levels by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Appraisers.
1. The first level is as a trainee. These appraisers operate under the supervision of a Certified Appraiser and cannot inspect a property without him or her present.
2. Licensed Appraisers can independently appraise any residential property up to $1,000,000, but cannot appraise homes of greater value without the supervision of a Certified Residential Appraisers.
3. Certified Residentialappraisers can appraise any residential property.
4. The final and highest level of certification is Certified General Appraiser. Since these appraisers are in high demand to appraise commercial property, they are rarely used to appraise residential property.
Appraisal vs. Comparative Market Analysis
Appraisers use a process very similar to a Realtors Comparative Market Analysis to arrive at a value for your home. They ideally look for three identical homes sold on the same day to use for their comparison -- this is clearly impossible, so they generally use comparable sales within similar areas, within the past year.
How we handle appraisals
If you list your property with us, we make sure to attend any bank appraisal of your home. While it is not necessary for the listing agent to attend the appraisal, we feel strongly that professional representation of the seller at the appraisal is a valuable means of advocating for our clients. We work as closely as possible with the appraiser to ensure that they are well-appraised of any significant factors which affect the value of the home, but which may not appear in the appraisers database of recent sales. For example, major town improvements to the neighborhood, recent improvements made to the home or property, or pending sales in the area are all significant factors which affect the value of your home, but which may not be readily available to the appraiser. We make sure that they are aware of these factors to ensure that the home is valued as accurately as possible. Furthermore, we only recommend lenders who we know use local and experienced appraisers. The choice of lender is yours to make, and the appraiser is hired by the lending institution, but we are always available to make recommendations or answer questions you may have.