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Buyer's Q & A | Market Value & Appraisals


Q: What is the difference between the appraised value and the market value?

A: Appraised value is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time.

Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker.

Q: How do you find out what a house is valued at?

A: A comparative market analysis by a real estate agent and an appraisal are the standard ways consumers and lenders determined what a home is worth.

Your real estate agent will be happy to provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. An appraisal is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.

Q: What is a house worth?

A: A home is worth what someone will pay for it. Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property's value, most people turn to either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis.

An appraisal is a certified appraiser's estimate amenities, energy efficiency, the quality of the value of a home at a given point in time. To make their determination, appraisers consider square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, neighborhood and availability of transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also take lot size, topography, view and landscaping into account.

A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on comparable sales in the neighborhood, performed by a real estate agent or broker. You can do your own cost comparison by looking up recent sales of comparable properties in public records. These records are available at local recorder's or assessor's offices, through private companies or on the Internet.

Q: What standards do appraisers use to estimate value?

A: Appraisers use several factors when estimating value including historical records, property performance, condition of the home and indices that forecast future value

Q: What is the difference between list price, sales price and appraised value?

A: The list price is a seller's advertised price, a figure that usually is only a rough estimate of what the seller wants to get. Sellers can price high, low or close to what they hope to get. To judge whether the list price is a fair one, be sure to consult comparable sales prices in the area.

The sales price is the amount of money you as a buyer would pay for a property.

The appraisal value is a certified appraiser's estimate of the worth of a property, and is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property and numerous other factors.


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