How Appraisals Work
The appraisal is an evaluation of what the market value of a home is at the time that the appraisal report is completed. It does not matter what the home might have appraised for previously nor does it matter what the property might have sold for in the past. The appraisal value is established by comparing the home that is being appraised to a minimum of 3 other homes that recently sold in the immediate area. The sale prices of those comparable homes is adjusted either up or down based on differences between what recently sold and the property being appraised. Things that are adjusted for are items like differences in the view from the homes, the square footage differences, amount of land differences, improvement differences (for example: granite, extra molding, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, marble ect), garage or not, fence or not, screen porch or not, ages of the home etc..
The appraiser is expected to use comparable homes that sold most recently, that are most similar in size and location to the home being appraised. So if they are appraising a single family home, they would not compare that to a manufactured home, even if the manufactured home is closest in size, location and even if it sold yesterday.
In the past, appraisers would exclude a foreclosed home as a comparable sale because those homes might be expected to be less desirable, or because they may be in worse condition than a typical home that was sold by an existing homeowner. However, these days because there are as many distressed homes, bank owned homes or foreclosures if they were to exclude those as comparable sales, there may not be any available homes left to compare the home being appraised to. So it is a consideration by the appraiser, but they no longer completely discount the use of those homes as comparable sales.
How the Appraiser is Chosen
Since the inception of the HVCC (Home Value Code of Conduct) all of our appraisal orders are handled through an AMC (Appraisal Management Company). The role of the AMC is to randomly select an appraiser from the AMC’s list of approved appraisers that should be located in the properties market area (so that the appraiser is familiar with the area) to complete the appraisal. So at the time that an appraisal order is created by us with an AMC, the report is paid for immediately and the order is assigned to an appraiser by that AMC. We are not able to choose the appraiser to complete the appraisal order, nor sway their evaluation or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result, or review of an appraisal in any way. So basically we have no control over the appraiser or the value received from them. It is up to the appraiser to give their opinion of the market value of a home without any influence from anyone.