little room for conjecture or differing opinion on how much the property is really worth. Everyone is able to move on knowing they have engaged the services of a certified expert who has fairly and thoroughly considered and set forth the most accurate fair market value possible.
Appraised values are not absolute. There can be unknown factors that can affect real estate values. The recent recession has certainly demonstrated how quickly an appraisal can become obsolete or inaccurate, based on circumstances outside of the appraiser’s control. Nevertheless, most estate settlements do rely heavily on valuations returned by property appraisals.
Upon completion of the appraisal, the appraiser provides itemized documentation revealing the process of the value determination of the subject property, showing how the market value was calculated. Depending on the type of property being appraised and the purpose of the appraisal, there are several standard forms used in the industry.
Property appraisals are not an exact science. For the most part, property values are based on a set of variables, such as square footage, number of rooms, lot size, amenities, age, etc. These variables are compared to other properties with similar statistics that have been appraised recently, and values are adjusted for differences between the properties.
Appraisals are an important aspect of amiable, effective estate settlements. Because a professional appraiser is an impartial expert trained extensively in the field of property value assessment and has nothing to gain or lose in the final determination of value, he or she is a valuable asset to the heirs. There is even greater benefit in employing a local appraiser who is familiar with the surrounding area, the environment, and any other factors that may affect the value
Written by Stephen A. Daniels, Real Estate Agent in Essex County.