All of us often turn to professionals when we need critical services performed or important guidance offered. Of course, the buying and selling of property is one such example, and the selection of a representative should be pursued carefully with interviews and research.
The same applies when choosing another professional who is crucial to the real estate transaction - the appraiser. But who orders the appraisal? Most often, it is the lender, who uses the report to confirm a property's value before approving financing. Sometimes, either the buyer or the seller will order an appraisal in order to secure an independent opinion of said value.
If you hire an appraiser, be sure he or she is licensed and certified. Most states provide those qualifications through an appraisal board, and you can also refer to the federal Appraisal Subcommittee's website at www.asc.gov, although only current - not past - disciplinary actions are listed there.
Once you've ordered an appraisal, how can you be sure of its accuracy? Begin by selecting an independent appraiser who was not chosen by the lender, and use your common sense. If the home across the street just sold for $150,000 and your appraisal reports at $250,000, you may have reason to seek a second opinion, which may be provided in a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) performed by a real estate agent