Why have an appraisal?

An appraiser provides an unbiased opinion of market value at a determined point of time. The most common reasons a home owner or investors may have an appraisal conducted is for mortgage financing/refinancing, before listing a property for sale, before purchasing a property, private or ComFree home sales, home equity loans, real estate investments, relocations, separation/divorce, tax assessment appeals and estate purposes.

What is involved?

A free quote for your appraisal will be provided over the phone or by email and is based on your home's location, size/features and purpose of the appraisal. Once you have confirmed you want to proceed, an appointment will be scheduled with an appraiser to view your home. The inspection will involve an exterior an interior inspection of your home, photos and measurements. After the inspection the appraiser will prepare your report and the final report will be emailed to you. Your report will consist of on average 10 to 15 pages with a description of your property, interior and exterior photos, a location map, plot plan, floorplan, and the appropriate approaches to market value.

What is market value?

The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market as of the specified date under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sales as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: buyer and seller are typically motivated, both parties are well informed or well advised,  and acting in what they consider their own best interests, a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market, payment is made in terms of cash in Canadian dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto, and the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

Source: Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

How does the appraiser determine market value?

There are three approaches to value used by appraisers. They are the direct comparison approach, the cost approach and the income approach. One or more of these three approaches is used in any appraisal. The cost approach uses the cost of land plus the cost of reproducing or replacing the home and subtracts the amount of depreciation of the home. This approach is mostly useful when valuing new homes. The direct comparison approach is the most valuable in most residential appraisals. It looks at similar properties which have sold in the subject property's market, and then these sales are adjusted for differences between the sales and the subject. The income approach is generally used for commercial properties. In this approach the anticipated benefits (cash flows and reversion) are converted into a property value.

How is an appraisal different than a real estate agents opinion of value?

An appraiser has no vested interest in the property transaction taking place.

Often financial institutions, lawyers, courts, Canada Revenue Agency and other government agencies will require an Appraisal Institute of Canada designated member (CRA or AACI) prepare your appraisal report. This is due to the extensive educational training and mentor program the Appraisal Institute of Canada has in place. Designated members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada have to undergo a minimum of 7 specific University level appraisal courses through the University of BC, Sauder School of Business. In addition members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada carry superior liability insurance.

An appraisal report is often a more detailed report overall than an opinion of value.