In plain simple English, your home is your biggest financial investment. Let’s relate it to stocks, shall we? Would you buy a brand new stock, you’d only heard of once? If you were smart, you would read everything you could get your hands on about that new company. You’d listen to financial radio stations and watch some financial TV shows to learn as much as you could about it. You’d monitor the daily stock reports.

You’d take appropriate steps to educate yourself as to whether this new stock might be a sound investment for you and retain value. You might write, phone or email investment specialists that are known for their professional stock knowledge. By doing so, you’d have a better handle on whether this new stock might be a good choice to put your money into.

Some buyers feel they are smart enough to determine the value of their new home themselves. If the home has will be lender financed by a traditional financial institution, the bank itself will require an appraisal. But if you are lucky enough to be able to purchase without a loan, it would be unwise to do so without an appraisal by a certified appraiser.

An appraiser is a trained professional, certified by the state after the appropriate years of experience, the type of properties analyzed, the amount of classroom instruction and, last but not least, actual proof the appraiser is qualified to perform such work by passing approved state and national exams.

Buying a home is a serious decision. You don’t know much about the house except probably general things like when it was built, what type of construction was used, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, garages and possibly the square footage. But you don’t have the expertise, the experience, the training to conduct the appropriate analysis, make suitable adjustments, come to highest and best use conclusions, investigate future zoning trends, etc. All of these are necessary when placing a market value on a home.

It’s just like taking a used car to your trusted mechanic before you purchase. An appraiser knows what to look for, where to find the data and how to analyze is to arrive at the fair market value.

Make the smart decision and phone an appraiser. That way you’ll be assured you aren’t overypaying for your new home. After all, if a lender believes having an appraisal step will protect THEIR investment, why shouldn’t you? Knowing the true value of your the property will help assure you make the RIGHT financial decision.

Sherie Smith, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and Consultant, Copyright 2010

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