What appraisers bring to the table
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What is the role of the appraiser in home valuations?

Where data, experience and insight meet In previous posts, we've talked about how appraisers use data and comparable sales in order to arrive at a valuation for properties. For residential properties, comparable sales tend to offer a good starting point: If four similar properties on the street have sold in the past few months, they provide a good indication of what your home is worth. But sometimes, you'll see two homes in the same neighbourhood that seem, on the surface,…...
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Factors used to value a home in Ontario

What are appraisers looking for?

How do appraisers arrive at a valuation of your home? We've talked before about the step-by-step process involved in the residential appraisal process. But what are appraisers really looking for when they're walking around your property, making notes on their clipboard or tablet? It's important to remember that appraisers are looking to arrive at a value of the home given 'average' circumstances. They're not valuing the home based on what the 'ideal buyer' (the one who'll take one look at…...
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Kevin Slemko of Hamilton's Midtown Appraisal Group on how properties are valued
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Appraisal explanations: Lists are not enough

How appraisers look at the components of a property, Part 1 If you've recently bought or sold a home that involved a mortgage or loan, chances are an appraiser has been involved at some point to confirm the property's value. And if you asked your agent or mortgage broker what an appraiser looks at, they probably gave you a list of factors: Location, size, condition, comparable sales, etc. That's correct, as far as it goes. But a list like that…...
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Midtown Appraisal Group southern Ontario

Cleaning, clutter and style: Do they affect appraised value?

The answer is...it depends. As an appraiser, I'm often asked some version of this question: "My house is a mess and I just found out they want to send the appraiser tomorrow. Do you think it'll make a huge difference to the appraised value?" The standard, professional answer is, of course: "No, it won't affect value. Appraisers are trained to look at the structure and layout of the house, and overlook the sinkful of dirty dishes. Don't worry." The truth,…...
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Process of home appraisals by Midtown Appraisal Group

Home appraisals step by step

No one loves them, but they're not that bad Whether you're a homeowner looking to refinance your mortgage, a home buyer with your heart set on the dream home you finally found, or a home seller hoping that the conditional offer you got will finally firm up: Sooner or later there'll be a need for a home appraisal, and you'll spend at least a little time worried about the process. But you shouldn't worry so much. Appraisers aren't going to…...
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Kevin Slemko of Midtown Appraisal Group on valuation factors

What goes into an appraised value?

It's not just a comparison to the house next door. It happens to every appraiser, often once a week: Someone involved in the property buying and selling process says something like "Yeah, this appraisal won't be that hard. The house across the street sold a month ago and it's pretty much the same layout, so we expect the value of our property to be about that price - well, a bit more probably, since prices are going up so fast!"…...
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Kevin Slemko, AACI on mortgage terms

Mortgage term lengths: Do you know your choices?

Appraisers aren't real estate salespeople or mortgage brokers, and definitely shouldn't be offering advice or counsel to the people whose properties they're appraising. However, as we've discussed before, because of our particular role in the process, and because they often end up meeting home buyers and sellers during their inspections, it's not surprising that we're often asked questions about home mortgages. A recent study showed that as much as 50% of Canadians don't really understand mortgage terminology, and aren't able…...
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Kevin Slemko of Midtown Appraisal Group FAQs

Appraisals: The 5 questions we’re asked most often

Until the pandemic, like many appraisers, I often didn't interact with property owners during the appraisal process: A financial institution would call with an appraisal request, I'd make arrangements with the real estate agent to pick up the keys or access the lockbox, and do the inspection when the owners or residents were at work. It was left to the real estate agent or mortgage provider to explain the appraisal process to their clients. The past 15+ months have changed…...
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How do you value a home when there are no comparable sales
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What happens when there are no comparable sales?

Say what you will about sprawling new subdivisions, they're a residential appraiser's dream. There's nothing easier than putting a value on a house when there have been 4 sales of the exact same model on the street in the past 6 months. But what happens when you're faced with, say, a beautiful 90-year-old home that's been renovated multiple times over the years, has a larger backyard than the newer properties which have sprung up around it - but also a…...
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Overview of the home appraisal process

Appraisals 101: A handy graphic

You don't have to be an expert, but you should know the basics. I know what it's like: Whether you're buying or selling your home, especially in the current overheated market, the last thing you have time (or interest) for is a deep dive into real estate appraisals. At the same time, as a vendor or purchaser of property, especially if it's your first one or it involves the fairly large sums of money typical of real estate in southern…...
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