So just how much IS that house of yours really worth? Seeing as how your house is probably your biggest single investment it is really important to get it appraised properly to get the best return on your money! In Rochester NY, a key factor in that equation is finding a qualified real estate appraiser. This is the person who knows the business and will work for you. Monroe county is a great market and there is no better time than now to get your home appraised.
Qualified and Certified
As you are doing your research and poking around, keep in mind that a professional real estate appraiser must be licensed or certified by the state. This is no easy feat. You’ll be interested to know that in order to become licensed an appraiser must have 2,000 hours of experience, 90 hours of classroom education and in addition he/she must pass a state exam! Certification on the other hand requires an additional 30 classroom hours, plus an additional 500 hours of experience. Those types of numbers just can’t be faked. Most appraiser websites will also list such things as training, areas of specialization, how long they’ve been in business and which associations they belong to. True to form and like anything else you research, it’s a good idea to make a list of 4-5 appraisers.
Call, Visit and Watch
The only way to narrow your list down is to visit the appraiser in person or have them come out to your house in order for them to view your property. Once you find an appraiser, hang around while he’s doing the job. Watch what he’s doing and feel free to ask questions. Ask for a copy of the appraisal. Unless you hired the appraiser yourself you won’t automatically get one.
Generally the appraiser will come in with a higher value than the tax assessor will. Most appraisals should come within $5,000 of comparable homes in the neighborhood. Appraising real estate isn’t rocket science — what one appraiser sees as a plus another may see as standard. The appraiser is not a home inspector but they need to know the general condition of your house, septic systems and other environmental issues. So it’s normal that they’ll be measuring and checking out the structure.
Keep the Paperwork
Be sure to ask for a copy of the appraisal. A full-fledged appraisal will give you a combination of the “comps” and the specific condition of your own house. “Comps” are a value comparison of comparable houses in comparable condition in your neighborhood. The appraiser will check what the other houses have sold for in the past 12 months. The specific condition of your house refers to its age, size, roof, foundation, whether it has lead paint and other factors.
Finally, most appraisers should spend at least one or two hours on your property and several more hours in their office arriving at the value of your home. It’s not impossible to find a professional real estate appraiser in Rochester NY. Do your research, ask the right questions and you’ll get your money’s worth and then some!