Reasons to Acquire a Real Estate Appraisal

By: Brayan Peter

There are many reasons to obtain a real estate appraisal. The most common reason to acquire an appraisal is to settle an estate. Taxing authorities often need real estate appraisals in order to establish the value of a real estate or property when a death occurs. Usually the survivors wish for a conservative value estimate which limits their tax liabilities as much as possible. Most of the estate appraisals are ordered through attorneys and not by the survivors. Another reason is to establish the substitute cost for insurance. Appraisals acquired for establishing the loss risk in case of fire accidents are mostly limited to offering a reproduction cost of the improvements or an estimate of the replacements. The insurable value may not be the representative of market value and usually doesn't include the land's value. Insurance agents might order real estate appraisals when their cost service manuals are not adaptable to a structure or a typical home. Owners of properties might order appraisals to contest the yearly appreciation increase that is mandated by certain insurance companies, particularly when there is a raise in the insurance coverage which results in an impractical premium.

To get a compensation for condemnation, the appraiser might represent either the condemning authority or the landowner.

Generally the government entity which requires land for its usage orders an appraisal and purchases the land for the cost mentioned by the appraisal. If the land owner thinks that the sum offered by the condemning authority is not sufficient or adequate, then the land owner may order an appraisal. If both the parties couldn't decide on a cost, then the issue will be settled in a court with each others appraiser testified on behalf of their respective estimated values. Appraisers aren't advocates for their clients; they are just the expert witnesses who are trying to hold up their estimated values. Land owners often do not consider ordering another appraisal from an appraiser of their choice. Usually, they try to settle with the concern authority by a negotiation rather than receiving the expense of the appraisal. It is very much clear that the land owner's negotiating position would be enhanced if a supporting professional appraisal report were accessible.

Another reason to get an appraisal is to contest in high property taxes. For instance, if property owners think that their properties are assessed very highly then the property owners can order an appraisal from an appraiser who is qualified to contest the tax assessments. In some parts of US, this practice is quite common but lot of property owners isn't aware that this avenue for decreasing their tax load is available. The investment return is easy to perceive when the price of the appraisal is compared to many years of lower taxes. Occasionally these assignments contain an appearance in front of the equalization panel to argue the land owner's case. However the appraiser must be watchful not to base the appraisal charge on the dollar amount of the value appraised that might be a violation of USPAP.

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