One of the biggest challenges in buying a home or selling a home is determining the value of the home. The Appraisal section of our blog will assist you how to determine the fair market value of a home, how to perform property searches to yield the home sales that are most like the home you want to buy or sell. 

It will also assist you in understanding how the condition of the property affects the value of a home, and will help you identify the best recent home sales to use for the market analysis or CMA.  Understanding this will insure that you arrive at the correct property value.

Additionally our contributor is a Licensed Appraiser and will provide valuable insights into what to expect when the home you want to buy is appraised or the home you want to sell is appraised.  Our local expert will clear up many questions concerning comparable properties, home values, and the role that government rules and regulations play in how a home is appraised.

Found 22 blog entries about Appraisal .

Automated Valuation Models (AVM’s) have become prominent on the internet over the past few years.  As an appraiser, I have been asked many times, “Why did the appraisal come in lower (or higher) than these AVM’s?”

To give an answer to this question you must consider where all this information is coming from.  For the most part, these “figures” are derived from tax records and/or Multiple Listing Services (MLS systems) and in some cases, the information used is gleaned from appraisers’ files.  When accessing these services, some AVM’s give options to help narrow down the fields utilized for the calculations.  Most AVM’s include your zip code, the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms you may have.  Other AVM’s (the better ones) give you more

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Many agents do not take into consideration the art and science of valuing a home.  Most agents merely punch CMA, which gives them the averages, the highs, and lows.  There are many issues that cause the home to appraise.  We will discuss some of the issues of valuing a home.

This home was listed for $350,000.  And we offered $360,000, which exceed the listing price.  And we won the offer.  My analysis resulted in the price range of $360,000 you $364,000.  The appraisal came in at $362,500.


We also look at appreciation.  We go back to the original date it was sold and apply the appreciation rate.  Based on the condition of the house the appreciation will vary. 

Age of the Home   

One of the rules for appraising property is

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Agent’s Fall into Two Groups

Many agents that get into the real estate business have little or no experience.  Their lack of experience will allow you to overprice a home.  I recently had a call from a friend who had a house in the Decatur area.  The home was listed for $469,000; my analysis suggested that it should be listed for $372,000.  It was listed for $100,000 over what it should have been. The process included routinely decreasing the price.

When you meet an agent that has years in the business, the agent will not allow for a home to be overpriced.  This will ensure that the agent is an advocate for you.

Overpriced Homes will Lead to Fewer Showings

When a home is listed, the buyers have options for searching for homes in

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The Worst Appraisal In 34 Years

There are things that the appraiser needs to do to have a good appraisal.  These all require more attention to the appraisal so that the appraisal is one that meets the appraisal standards.  There are numerous things that the appraiser needs to consider when appraising a property.  This is the worst appraisal that we have ever received.  I will define some of the items that the appraiser defaulted on.

Problem #1

This ranch was built with brick in 1971 with 2071 square feet.  The appraiser used 2 stories and neglected the ranches that were also built with brick.  A requirement of appraising a home is that they have to be similar in structure.  To be similar they have to have 10% greater or less in square

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Sellers and buyers will both benefit from having a better understanding of where a home fits into the overall pricing structure of a community. As a buyer by following these simple guidelines you can increase the likelihood that the offer you make will represent a good value to you, and if a seller you won't be inclined to turn down an offer that you should accept.

First- Have your agent provide you a list of all of the homes like the one you are considering, that is either under contract, or that have sold within the last 3-4 months. 

Second- Upon review, you will begin to notice that they can be arranged into three categories.  Let’s call these categories A, B, and C. Now separate each of the properties into one of the three categories. 


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When is the best time to list and sell your home?  When you consider the various times of the year you will have to consider the impact of prior sales on your home.  This is the major consideration when you would consider listing and selling your home.

List & Sell Your Home in the Fall

Fall begins September 22 and lasts through December 21.  As you consider the Fall as a time to list and sell your home; this is a good time to do so.  In the Fall when an appraisal is done on your home you have the benefit of the highest sales of the year.  This means that you will benefit from the sales that have occurred in the Spring and Summer.  Most appraisals will use comps to evaluate your home that has occurred in the last six months.

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There are a number of things that will affect your appraisal.  These items listed below are not the complete list of items that will affect your appraisal.  But they are some of the most significant.  Each of these will require an adjustment on your appraisal.

Being the First Home in the Community

This has occurred multiple times over the years.  Sellers do not necessarily agree with it. 

We had done our Market Analysis on a home in Braselton a couple of years ago.  It was the first home in the subdivision.  Our analysis determined that the home would sell for about $25,000 less than an interior home would sell for.  Our analysis suggested the home was worth around $295,000 before our adjustment for being the first home in the

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As a result of the Financial Crisis, there have been many changes made to how appraisals are performed.  The reality is that lenders usually do not have the ability to order an appraisal directly from the appraiser.  They are now required to contact an Appraisal Management Company to order an appraisal. 

The Process

Once the lender has ordered the appraisal for the AMC, the AMC assigns the appraisal to an appraiser.  Once an appraiser is confirmed, the appraiser will reach out to the listing or selling agent.  I always make sure that I am the contact for the appraiser; whether representing the Buyer or the Seller.  Once the appraiser reaches out to confirm an appointment; I always meet the appraiser at the home.  Once the appraisal is

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We Are Now Offering Sold Data for Property in Your Community

A recent website upgrade of ours included the addition of SOLD DATA.  This information not only includes all listing data associated with the listing while on the market, but also all changes in pricing and STATUS CHANGES.

How to Use This Information

Once on our site you will see SEARCH AREA on the right side of the site.  Immediately below you will see FMLS, use the drop down arrow to display FMLS SOLD'S.  Once selected you may search from her, or you may choose to REFINE your search, which will provide many additional search fields to further assist in your search.  Our site also provides SOLD DATA on commercial, multi family, land, lots, condo and town homes. 

 Access the

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With the ongoing challenges presented by the current economy and the new rules associated with the HVCC Guidelines, the strategies used to insure that your interests as a buyer are protected are essential.  One special area of consideration in Georgia is the “Due Diligence Period”.

Prior to the recent decline in real estate values the biggest challenge faced by most buyers was resolving with the sellers any items that came up on the inspections performed.   This was due in part to the fact that loans were readily available for practically any buyer with no money down and very little qualifying. And, to the fact that prices were pushed up due to overly relaxed lending guidelines which encouraged buyers to pay more for homes because they could finance

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