An appraisal is a licensed appraiser's opinion of a home's market value based on comparable recent sales of homes in the neighborhood. Appraisals are usually ordered on behalf of a buyer's lender to protect the interests of the lender. The lender's underwriter will compare the appraisal price to the final purchase price of the home to ensure the buyer is not borrowing more than the house is worth. If the home appraises lower than the final sale price, the buyer may be able to renegotiate a lower price with the seller. If the seller won't lower the price, the buyer's lender may ask that the buyer put more money toward the down payment in order to make up the difference. Get an instant estimate of your home's value or learn how to increase your home's appraisal value.
U.S. Regulatory and Professional Standards and Guidelines  USPAP complia​nt valuation and independent-appraisal reviews for federally regulated  banks and financial institutions, asset-based lenders, family offices, endowments and foundations, high net worth individuals, private-equity investors and managed funds and, independent appraisal review expert witness and litigation support services to attorneys and in arbitration / mediation and as umpires.
The requirements to become a fully qualified appraiser or assessor of real estate are complex and vary by state and, sometimes, by the value or type of property. Most appraisers and assessors of residential or commercial property must have at least a bachelor’s degree to obtain certification. The entry-level state license category typically does not require a bachelor’s degree. Check with your state's licensing board for specific requirements for both assessors and appraisers.

Although appraisers and assessors of real estate work in offices, they may spend a large part of their time conducting site visits to assess properties. Time spent away from the office depends on the specialty. For example, residential appraisers tend to spend less time on office work than commercial appraisers, who might spend up to several weeks analyzing information and writing reports on one property. Appraisers who work for banks and mortgage companies generally spend most of their time inside the office, making site visits only when necessary.
Automated valuation models (AVMs) are growing in acceptance. These rely on statistical models such as multiple regression analysis, machine learning algorithms or geographic information systems (GIS).[17] While AVMs can be quite accurate, particularly when used in a very homogeneous area, there is also evidence that AVMs are not accurate in other instances such as when they are used in rural areas, or when the appraised property does not conform well to the neighborhood.
While no appraiser is infallible, his or her opinion of the value of your home is informed by rigorous training, numerous tests, several years of on-the-job experience and required continuing education. They are also required to substantiate every finding in their reports that could influence a home’s value. Appraisers and their employers (often appraisal management companies) are heavily regulated. Consequences of issuing deliberately misleading or biased reports can be severe, so appraisers work hard to remain impartial and keep personal value judgments and prejudices out of their work.
The report must include a street map showing the appraised property and comparable sales used; an exterior building sketch; an explanation of how the square footage was calculated; photographs of the home's front, back and street scene; front exterior photographs of each comparable property used; and any other information, such as market sales data, public land records and public tax records, that the appraiser uses to determine the property's fair market value. An appraisal costs several hundred dollars, and generally, the borrower pays this fee.
The proposed property tax rate, or millage rate, is set by various taxing authorities. Pinellas County is one taxing authority. There are others, such as the School Board and the individual municipalities. Based on their proposed budgets, they determine a “proposed” millage rate. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable property value. Once the proposed millage rate is set, the taxing authority cannot raise it, though it is permitted to set it at a lower rate.

The seller can offer to carry a second mortgage for the difference.If the buyer really wants the home but cannot come up with the difference in cash, making payments or a lump sum payment at a later date to the seller is an option. After the escrow closes, sellers often retain the right to discount the second mortgage, sell it for less than face value to an investor.


"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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