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Appraisals are a key — but often misunderstood — part of real estate transactions, so it's good for you to become familiar with how they work, how they can affect your home purchase or sale, and the role I can play in helping with the appraisal process, especially if you think an appraisal is off the mark.

Appraisals vs. Market Value
There's a difference. An appraisal is an opinion of value, while the market value is the contract price. Before you buy a home, your mortgage lender needs to be sure you're paying a fair market value for that home. So the bank hires a third-party inspector, i.e. an appraiser, and the fee (typically around $400) is rolled into your closing costs.

Some sellers, especially if they've recently done renovations or made upgrades to their home, think they need to hire an appraiser before they list their home. Instead, save your money and contact a local real estate expert like me. I can give you a fair market estimate for free based on my knowledge of sales activity and the market in your neighborhood. Which brings us to…

Think Local
A lot of large banks use appraisal management companies, which try to turn around appraisals as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, those appraisers can't be experts on all communities, and sometimes they're assigned a property that's off their radar, which can really affect your home's appraised value. But with the local appraisal process, a lender identifies an appraiser based on a property's location and their knowledge of values in the area. If you could use more knowledge about this kind of appraisal process, ask me to connect you to Baird & Warner's lending partner, Key Mortgage Services.

Let Me Make the Appraisal Process Easier
An appraiser is supposed to look at similar homes (in terms of size or bedroom count) on the market and at homes that have recently sold. They compare the homes, looking at things like structural integrity or whether a bathroom has been updated, to your property to make their appraisal. So you'll want to have someone on your side who's familiar with the neighborhood. That's where I come in. I can understand the nuances not just of the local market, but of particular blocks, too, and I make sure appraisers look at properties that truly measure up with each other.

With me, the appraisal process is just easier.

Make Your Home Search a Snap
With the HomeSnap app (available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices) you get access to information about any home, whether it's on the market or not. The app gives you prices, values, dates of last sale, listing histories, bird's-eye lot boundaries, similar active listings, recent comparable sales, and local schools. You can also get in touch with me using the HomeSnap app to schedule showings or list your current home. Contact me today to find your perfect home.

Robot vs. Realtor: No Contest
Baird & Warner's own Laura Ellis, president of residential sales and executive vice president, recently took center stage at the international Inman Connect event in August to discuss how automation can never duplicate the passion and knowledge realtors (like me) bring to the biggest investment of your life: your home. She talked about how each buyer and seller has a unique set of experiences and motivations. Only an actual human being can help buyers and sellers (like you) navigate the emotional process of buying a home and interpret complex data to make it easier to make an informed decision.

Jeff Coros  
Jeff Coros
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