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Real estate appraisers have the important job of finding an accurate market value for a property. Their job might seem simple, but there are actually a lot of hidden factors that go into an appraisal. Here are a few surprising facts about how appraisers work.

Home Makeovers Don’t Affect Appraisals Much

When an appraiser assesses a home, they are mostly looking at the big picture. Things like the neighborhood, age of the roof, and number of bedrooms are most likely to affect value. Appraisers care about how functional the home is, since they cannot objectively measure how attractive a house is. Cosmetic things like painting the room a trendy color do not affect value much, no matter how much a homeowner spends on it.

An Appraiser Isn’t Always a Neighborhood Expert

With new guidelines and a lack of qualified appraisers, people are stretched thin lately. This means many appraisers are being sent to areas they do not know much about. Since a home’s location affects its value so much, this can be highly problematic. In some cases, homeowners and agents with more knowledge of the area may be able to contest the appraisal.

How to Become an Appraiser

Appraisers have much more rigid requirements than home inspectors or real estate agents. In addition to spending hours in the classroom, appraisers typically need a college degree, annual licensing, and rigorous background checks. All of these restrictions mean that the number of appraisers is shrinking dramatically.

Appraisers Don’t Work for Homeowners

An appraiser’s main duty is providing the bank with an accurate value for the home, so a bank can decide whether it is too risky to mortgage the house. Appraisers do not focus on pleasing the homeowners, helping a buyer save money, or making sure a seller gets a big profit. Therefore, they cannot be influenced by chatting with the homeowner or listening to the real estate agent. Instead, appraisers mainly answer to regulatory financial institutions.

An Appraiser’s Word Isn’t Final

Appraisers might seem authoritative, but this doesn’t mean their estimate is final. Consumers always have the option of filing a complaint against their appraiser. They can also hire an appraiser for a second assessment.