A Professional Appraisal: Your Assurance of Reliability & Verifiability on Value of Your Property
Professional real estate fee appraisers are educated in many aspects of property valuation and real estate markets and one of the main focuses of the appraisal profession is reliability and verifiability. Essentially the data and information which an appraiser uses must be reliable and verifiable. The most common source of data and information which residential real estate appraisers use is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is used because the data and information is on an open market system, open for all interested parties to see and use. The Realtors who provide the MLS data and information are legally responsible to the users of that data and information, and are expected to originate or confirm the data and information to the best of their professional abilities. Some data and information is a matter of opinion and may be open to interpretation, however, for the most part MLS data and information may be relied upon faithfully by an appraiser. Another source of data and information is the own appraiser’s files on comparable properties. This data and information is prized by the appraiser, for he/she has personally verified the details at some past point in time. There is the possibility that a comparable property on file may have had renovations, upgrading, or may have even suffered damage from fire or flood, hence there is the possibility that the details may not be totally reliable.
Assessment records, Land Titles Office records, For-Sale-By-Owners, project developers, house builders, and exclusive listings are some other sources of data and information that can be utilized for comparable sales, however the details on these types of sales are often not complete and may require further verification by the appraiser when utilizing them in an appraisal report. Instances where the subject property has unique features, an isolated location, and/or where there are a limited number of MLS sales, these sources are often very helpful. The professional appraiser makes note of these situations in his/her appraisal report so that the appraisal report reader is fully informed and can adjust his/her expectations of the report.