But the most common reason for value differing from price is that either the buyer or the seller is uninformed as to what a property's market value is but nevertheless agrees on a contract at a certain price which is either too expensive or too cheap. This is unfortunate for one of the two parties. It is the obligation of a real property appraiser to estimate the true market value of a property and not its market price.
Lenders want to make sure that homeowners are not overborrowing for a property because the home serves as collateral for the mortgage. If the borrower should default on the mortgage and go into foreclosure, the lender will recoup the money it lent by selling the home. The appraisal helps the bank protect itself against lending more than it might be able to recover in this worst-case scenario.
Because the appraisal primarily protects the lender's interests, the lender will usually order the appraisal. According to the Appraisal Institute, an association of professional real estate appraisers, a qualified appraiser should be licensed or certified (as required in all 50 states) and be familiar with the local area. Federal regulations state that the appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. Fannie Mae requires appraisers to certify that they have experience appraising similar properties in the same geographic area.
"What is my house worth?"  These real estate appraisers can answer that and much more all over Pinellas County.  Whether it is appraising your home for a property tax appeal if your property taxes are too high, valuing your home for estate work or a divorce or helping you secure a HELOC, a local appraiser is best.  They obviously also appraise new construction homes as well as existing homes, and can do it for a home listing, before or after a sale.  They use the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to gather data on sales and listings and use them to professionally tell you what the price per square foot should be for your home and others in your area.  They also can determine if there's any effect on the value of your home from pending foreclosures, REOs, and other "short sales" in Pinellas County.  A licensed and certified appraiser's estimates of value on residential single family homes, condos, townhouses and more are much better than what you'll find when using an AVM (automated valuation model) or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion).  They can do an appraisal for VA, FHA, conventional, jumbo, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purposes, and routinely provide those reports on URAR, drive-by, and 1004 MC (1004 Market Condition) forms as well as others.
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