Every year, countless people in the United States buy, sell, or refinance their own slice of the American Dream.  Most, if not all, of these transactions include a simple line item for an appraisal.  It has become an understood and accepted part of a real estate transaction.  "Let's bring in the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this property."

But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services of a certified, licensed, independent real estate professional might come in handy?  You bet.

One of the most important issues involved in purchasing a property is developing an opinion of what it's worth so that you can make an informed offer to purchase.  A professional appraisal report performed by a qualified, state-licensed appraiser can provide you with an objective, third party opinion of a property's current Market Value.  And for the small price of this service, you can give yourself "peace of mind" prior to making an offer to purchase that you're offering a fair price for the property. 

If you need to consolidate bills, have a college tuition to pay, or just want to tap into the equity of your home, you'll need a new loan, which oftentimes requires a new appraisal of the property. For a refinance the lender will order the appraisal. The lender will not use an appraisal ordered directly by the homeowner.
Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. This is unfortunate because PMI becomes unnecessary when the remaining balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or principal pay down - dips below this 80% level. In fact, the United States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.

Many appraisers offer a specific service for home owners that believe they have met the 80% loan-to-value metric. For a nominal fee, the appraiser can provide you with a statement regarding the home value. Some will even take the next step and help you file a challenge with your mortgage company. The costs of these services are very often recovered in just a few months of not paying the PMI.

A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience for both parties and is often further complicated by the difficult decision of "Who gets the house?".  In most divorce cases, the Court won't usually force the parties involved to "buyout" the other party's interest but it may however order the sale of the home so each party gets an equal share of the equity.  Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea to order an appraisal so both parties are fully aware of what the true market value is.

If the parties want to sell the home, they'll have a better idea of what price to set.  And on the flipside, if a "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties will feel like they've gotten a fair assessment.
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in life and settling an estate from a death, or probate, often requires an appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the residential property involved.  The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest degree of discretion.

Unlike many wealthy individuals, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to handle these issues.  Also, in most cases, a home or other real property makes up a disproportionate share of the total estate value.

Here too, an appraiser can help.  Often the first step in fairly disposing of an estate is to understand its true value.  Where property is involved, the appraiser can help determine the true value.  At this point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.

We understand the stress involved with an employee relocation.  We take great care in establishing a convenient appointment time for the appraisal inspection. During our thorough inspection, we encourage relocating employees to provide input on the positive attributes of their property along with information about any recent sales or listings in their neighborhood that they want considered.


In Ohio, county auditors are required to do a full general reappraisal once in every six years. These appraisals are what is called a mass appraisal, apply to every property in the county, and take 2-3 years to complete. Conversely, a fee based appraisal is specific to one property and takes 2-3 days to complete. Most property owners never dispute the assessed value of their property and could potentially be paying higher taxes then necessary. Knowing the difference between market vs. assessed value, and the current market value of your real estate may affect what you are currently being assessed in taxes. Many times a tax assessment includes non-real estate items such as machinery, inventory, business income in excess of rental income, and various other items. Appraisal Comp Valuations has consulting services available where we take no commission if we do not save you money on your tax bill.


A home can very well be the largest expenditure one has in their lifetime. Sometimes, wanting to know its value is simply for the sake of knowing. Other times, wanting to know its value could be a factor into many other major financial decisions: assessing lifestyle after retirement, children's college financial planning, or a changed career in a different pay scale, just to name a few. Appraisal Comp Valuations can provide this service to you!

Before you decide to sell your home there are several decisions to be made. First and foremost: "How much should it sell for?"  But don't forget there may be other equally important questions to ask yourself such as "Would it be better to paint the entire house before we sell it?", "Should I put in that third bathroom?", "Should I complete my kitchen remodel?"  Many things which we do to our houses have an effect on their value.  Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home, it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense.

*Major Renovations: Most homeowners understand that renovations, such as to kitchens and bathrooms, and adding finished above grade living space can alter the value of their home. It is also important to upgrade your home to your personal taste and for your own enjoyment. Keeping this in mind, there is an important theory of economics that basically states this: cost does not necessarily equal value. If you are considering major renovations to your home, it could be important to know the value of the home prior to, and after potential renovations. Appraisal Comp Valuations can provide this service to you!

Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use the assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can help you make a better educated decision when determining your selling price.

Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for.  It's easy for them to step in and give you the information to help you make your decision.  Appraiser fees are based on efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales price. So seeking a professional appraisal can often help homeowners make the best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales price.

*Prior to listing: In a typical real estate transaction, a buyer procures a mortgage to purchase the property. The buyer's lender orders an appraisal to ensure they are making a good mortgage loan; they are the appraiser's client. A seller is not a client of the appraiser, and therefore does not see the appraisal (unless the property does not appraise for the agreed upon purchase price, and who wants that?!) As a seller, pro-actively having your own appraisal provides insight to many aspects of what the "other side" of the deal will potentially be seeing. Appraisal Comp Valuations can provide this service to you!

*For Sale By Owner: Automated valuation systems can leave out important aspects to value. Similar to when listing with a brokerage, these two critical facets should not be left to chance: overpricing a listing can cause unnecessary additional days on market, or worse, the property never selling at all; underpricing a listing can cause a seller to never realize its full potential value. Appraisal Comp Valuations can provide this service to you!