Understanding Real Estate Appraisals: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, understanding the appraisal process is essential. Real estate appraisals play a crucial role in determining the value of your property. They provide an objective assessment of your property’s market price, which helps both buyers and sellers make informed decisions. In this blog post, we will explain the appraisal process, the factors considered during the appraisal, and how to contest an appraisal that comes in lower than expected.

The appraisal process usually starts once a buyer has made an offer on a property. The lender will then require an appraisal to ensure that the value of the property is sufficient to cover the loan amount. An appraiser will visit the property, evaluate it, and prepare a report indicating its fair market value. The appraiser will take into account various factors, including the condition of the property, the location, the local real estate market, and comparable sales in the area.

The condition of the property is a significant factor considered during the appraisal. The appraiser will evaluate the overall condition of the property, including the structure, roof, foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems. The appraiser will also consider any visible damage, such as water leaks, mold, or termites. The property’s overall condition will affect its value, so it’s essential to keep your property in good shape.

Another factor considered during the appraisal is comparable sales. The appraiser will review recent sales of similar properties in the area to determine a fair market value for the property. The appraiser will consider the size, features, and location of the comparable properties to determine how the property being appraised compares. Sometimes, comparable sales may not be readily available in the area. In such cases, the appraiser may expand the search radius or use other methods to determine the property’s value.

If an appraisal comes in lower than expected, it can significantly impact the transaction. A low appraisal may lead to the buyer paying a higher down payment or a renegotiation of the purchase price. If you believe the appraisal is incorrect, you can contest it. Typically, the lender will allow you to provide additional information to support your case, such as recent comparable sales or major upgrades to the property. The lender can also order a second appraisal to ensure the first appraisal was accurate.


Real estate appraisals are an essential part of buying or selling a property. They play a crucial role in determining a property’s value and can significantly impact the transaction. Understanding the appraisal process, the factors considered during the appraisal, and how to contest an appraisal can help you make informed decisions and ensure that you get the best value for your property. By keeping your property in good condition and providing accurate information to the appraiser, you’ll be well on your way to a successful transaction.

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