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 the need for a real estate appraisal.  It has become an understood and accepted part of a real estate transaction. 

But is this the only reason to get a real estate appraisal? Are there other times when the services of a Certified and Independent real estate appraisal might come in handy?  Below are just a few.

One of the most important issues involved in purchasing a property is developing an opinion of what it's worth so that you can make an informed offer to purchase.  A professional real estate appraisal report performed by a qualified, state-licensed appraiser can provide you with an objective, third party opinion of a property's current Market Value.  And for the small price of this service, you can give yourself "peace of mind" prior to making an offer to purchase that you're offering a fair price for the property. 

If you need to consolidate bills, have a college tuition to pay, or just want to tap into the equity of your home, you'll need a new loan, which often times requires a new real estate appraisal of the property.

Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use the assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can help you make a better educated decision when determining your selling price.

Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for.   Appraiser fees are based on efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales price. A professional appraisal can help homeowners make the best decisions in determining a fair sales price.

A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience for both parties and is often further complicated by the difficult decision of what is the house worth in today's market. At times the value will be determoned by an appriser on each side, or a single appraiser can be utilized to estimate its market value. Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea to order an appraisal so both parties are fully aware of what the true market value is. Whether it results in a buyout, or a sale of the home, a better idea of value will be set by getting a real estate appraisal done by a professional. 

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in life and settling an estate from a death, or probate, often requires an appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the residential property involved, normally as of the effective date of the loss. The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest degree of discretion. Often the first step in liquidation or settling of an estate is to understand its true value,  allowing equitable arrangements to be  more easily be arrived, especially among disputing parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.

We understand the situation involved with an employee relocation.  A relocation real estate appraisal is an essential part of the relocation process. In any type of situation, a convenient appointment time will be setup for the appraisal inspection. During our thorough inspection, we encourage relocating employees to provide input on the positive attributes of their property along with information about any recent sales or listings in their neighborhood that they want considered. The process is both retrospective and prospective.

Before you decide to sell your home, there are several decisions to be made. First and foremost: "How much should it sell for?"  But don't forget there may be other equally important questions to ask yourself such as "Would it be better to paint the entire house before we sell it?", "Should I put in that third bathroom?", "Should I complete my kitchen remodel?"  Many things which we do to our houses have an effect on their value.  Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home, it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense. The appraise can help the client determne the return on these types of investments.

Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. The United States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.