From Marketwatch.com: There are about 80,000 real estate appraisers in the U.S. and they play a key role in most home sales: Until they weigh in with a determination of a property’s value, the buyer typically can’t finalize a mortgage. (Appraisers also play roles in property-tax appeals and home-equity lending, among other transactions.) Read more.
One thing that constantly amazes me is when I hear or read about the leaders of real estate firms downplaying the importance of the company/broker brand. The primary implication being that only the individual agent brand really matters. That branding is best left to the folks in the marketing department or, heaven forbid, that the “brand” is some ineffable concept that has no relationship to creating real business value like driving unit and volume growth.
Keller-Williams, likely the fastest growing brokerage in the world at this moment, seem to embrace this line of thinking. And indeed, most KW “For Sale” signs - the foundation of real estate brand marketing – totally emphasize the agent or team’s identity leaving the company name and logo as an afterthought. Make no mistake: Keller-Williams has built a powerhouse brand among real estate agents. In fact, I would argue that the only real brand value KW has is to agents. The primary value proposition of the KW brand is: “We’re the real estate company that shares profits with agents.” Thus far, it’s been a brilliant strategy in terms of recruiting agents and making some of the KW tribe very wealthy.
However, I think if you asked most people in the real estate business or, more importantly, real estate consumers what the KW brand stands for they would look at you with a blank stare. I mean, I know the Christie’s brand stands for “luxury”. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has made a big Cabernet and Cream bet that Warren Buffett and the BH brand – characterized by “integrity and financial strength” – can extend to selling a gazillon homes a year (in addition to jewelry, insurance and Blizzards®).
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, or even refinance your current home at a lower rate, a home appraisal is a key step to confirming the value of a property. Lenders use professional appraisers to provide an unbiased opinion on the value of a home in order to ensure that, in the event of default, the funds they lend are backed up by the property. In this way, lenders have a bit of insurance that, even in the worst-case scenario, their investment is a safe one. So, what are the major aspects of an appraisal? What are the most important factors to know about that can affect the value of a home, and what happens if an appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon price during closing on a sale? Let’s take a closer look at the details of appraisals and their importance on property investments from both buyers’ and sellers’ perspectives.
Professional, certified appraisers take into account comparable sales, home amenities and other key, quantifiable factors. Since property condition is a factor, keeping up with necessary repairs can provide a boost to appraised value.
You may have, at some point, rushed to clean up your home to get ready for an appraisal in order to receive a quick boost in value. While it couldn’t hurt, tidiness isn’t a major factor in appraisal value. According to Investopedia, appraisal numbers are typically a sum of factors including current market trends, your home’s amenities, upkeep and maintenance, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Another major factor to appraisals relates to recently sold comparable properties. As a result, taking the time to check out recently sold, similar homes in your neighborhood is a quick way to get a relatively close estimate when creating a list price on your home.
If you’re buying a home, expect an appraisal as part of the closing procedures....