You welcome us into your home to perform and inspection for the purpose of a real estate appraisal. You pay us a few hundred dollars. We measure, take photos, take notes, and we are out the door in 15-30 minutes.
“Wait. Where did my money just go?”
Believe me. We get it. But looks can be deceiving. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes—not to mention expenditure!
Much of the time is spent researching comparable sales to find the ones that best match your own home so we can give you the most accurate appraisal possible. To ensure accuracy, we have to verify MLS information on each comparable sale used in the report through county records, and many times, call the listing agents to get more information on their condition at the time of the listing. When you receive the long, detailed report, it will be pretty clear a hefty chunk of time was spent filling that out, too.
As far as expenditure is concerned, there is gas, licensing, continuing education, software subscriptions, MLS membership, insurance, etc.
We’re sure nothing said here can make anyone feel great about shelling out a chunk of money. But hopefully you’ll feel a little better knowing the pride we take in our work, our efforts to help you understand the process, and that much more goes into it than that 15-30 minute inspection.
Let us first start by saying every appraisal is its own beast, based on complexity and availability of quality comparable sales. So the process sometimes changes and the time spent on it can double or triple. These are the cases that necessitate higher fees. But we’ll get into that later.
In the typical appraisal, we receive a request from you via phone or email. We’ll ask you details about your home, such as updates, condition, etc., to give you a proper quote and to pull proper comparable sales before we head to your home. After those details are tied up, we’ll have you send us a simple email acknowledging we made an agreement. If possible on both ends, we’ll go ahead an schedule the appointment, doing our best to accommodate you. We just ask that you allow us a window of time to arrive, as we travel from inspection to inspection—all over Central Florida.
Rest assured though, we aren’t the cable guy! We’ll arrive in that window. And we’ll even try to give you a heads up when we’re on the way.
Once we arrive, we’ll do a visual inspection of the exterior and interior of your home, taking necessary photos, notes, and measurements. This process usually takes a painless 15-30 minutes. Then we’re out of your hair and starting the detailed work behind the scenes. After leaving, we’ll drive by the comparable homes we pulled, taking more photos and notes.
Here is where our 48-hour turnaround time comes into play. We can perform up to four inspections per day. That mean we have 48 hours to complete each of those appraisals for our customers. The workload of most appraisers is why you’ll rarely find 24-hour turn times. We are not an exception to the rule. And, frankly, we’d be wary of the exception.
Once we are back on your appraisal, we sort the comparable sales to narrow down which ones best match your home according to features, updates, quality of construction, condition, etc. We’ve already accounted for location, neighborhood, and views before we step through your door. As we narrow them down, we’ll often call the listing agents to get additional information their MLS listings may not have provided. After settling on the best comparable sales for your home, we research each one on county records to verify the information on the MLS listing.
Finally, we start filling out the report. This process will include information on your home from county records and details from the inspection, along with all the photos we took and a sketch from our measurements to make sure we provide the correct square footage for your living area. The meat of the report—and the part you’ll care about the most—is the comparable grid. All the details of your home will be compared with the details on comparable sales we chose. Here we make what is called adjustments to features, quality, etc., that factor into a sale price. For example, if your home has a covered patio and one of the comparable sales doesn’t, you’ll see an adjustment.
Adjustments aren’t easy to give a canned explanation for, as they often vary by home. We use our knowledge of the area through many years of experience and what we see in the price.
Once the report is complete, you will be emailed a PDF copy of it and we will thank you, once again, for doing business with us. And if you have any questions about what you see, we will be happy to explain it to you. We don’t run and hide. We stand by our work, knowing we did everything in our power to ensure your appraisal was fair and accurate. That always has been, and always will be our promise to you.