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Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Appraisals

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Frequently Asked Question

Why Order a Home Appraisal Appraisal From Us?

  1. We produce QUALITY real estate appraisal reports with detailed and descriptive analysis that is logical and able to endure scrutiny.
  2. Professional, friendly, and helpful service throughout our engagement - and direct communication with the appraiser.
  3. Competitive rates, flexible scheduling, and fast delivery throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
  4. Your appraisal report will be completed by a licensed / certified real estate appraiser that has completed a MINIMUM of 1,500 appraisals. No trainees or other support staff will work on your appraisal.
  5. Free consultations. We are happy to answer any questions to assist you in deciding the best service for your situation.

What are common types of appraisals?

How my home's value derived in an appraisal?

There are three approaches to value that can be used in an appraisal report. The appraiser selects the option that best reflect the actions of buyers in the market area where the property being appraised is located.

The these options are:

  • Sales Comparison Approach to Value. This method of deriving value allows for the most complete satisfaction of the tenets of market value. It compares sales of properties similar to the property being appraised with the intention of producing a value that reflects the actions of recent market participants that may have considered also purchasing the subject property, had it been for sale. The significant majority of the time, this is the approach used for appraisals of single family residences and condominiums.
  • Cost Approach to Value. This method of deriving value calculates the cost of a property's improvements, less depreciation, and adds them to the value of the land as if vacant. Market participants usually make their purchasing and selling decisions based on what properties have been selling for in the area and not on the cost of a property resulting in market value often being significantly different than what is derived in the sales comparison approach to value.
  • Income Approach to Value. This method of deriving value utilizes the income capabilities of a property to derive a property's market value. Property values are often too high and investors/landlords will not see enough profit / reasonable enough of a return from rents to where buying a property based solely on its income producing capabilities equals a value above what the sales comparison approach usually indicates, making it an unreliable indicator of market value for single family residences and condominiums where potential investors are mostly competing with buyers who will live in their properties after purchase and do not consider the profit they could receive from renting their property. The income approach is most usually used for multi-family properties and commercial properties.

In the significant majority of residential appraisals in our market area (and likely throughout the country), property values are derived solely using the Sales Comparison Appraisal to Value which relies on paired sales analysis. Paired sales analysis is a method of estimating the amount of adjustment for the presence or absence of any feature by pairing the sales prices of otherwise similar properties with and without the feature in question. A sufficient number of sales must be found to allow the appraiser to isolate the effect on value of the pertinent factor (also called paired data set analysis and matched pairs analysis). If applied correctly, all comparable properties in a sales comparison should indicate the same value for the property being appraised.

Why should I order an appraisal before I buy a home?

An appraisal ordered from us provides you with a value opinion from a neutral third party who does not have a stake in the success of your purchase, and who is especially educated and experienced in property valuation, which a Realtor is not. In many instances, Realtors can provide a narrow and reliable value range - but they are often many situations where their techniques fail the test of market value and the buyer spends more than they should, or have to, on a home.

Isn't a mortgage lender going to order an appraisal? Why do I need another one?

Yes, but mortgage lending rules require that the mortgage lender supply a copy of the purchase contract to the appraiser which can influence the appraised value. This is because the Definition of Market Value states that a property is worth what a buyer and seller are willing to agree to. An appraiser with a purchase contract in hand has a signed declaration from a buyer and seller for a particular purchase price. In purchases, it almost becomes a situation where the appraiser is left to prove or disprove the purchase price instead of developing their own value opinion.

It is also important to realize that appraisal the mortgage lender orders is for the mortgage lender to make a lending decision from, and to give them assurances that they will be able to sell/trade your loan on the secondary mortgage market. As such, they often have their own restrictions and requirements imposed on the appraiser / appraisal that can influence the appraisal and its value, sometimes to the detriment of the purchaser.

When should I order the appraisal for a purchase?

It is important to have the appraisal ordered as early in the purchase process as possible. Ideally you would order it before making an offer to purchase a property, but that is not always practical and there are benefits to having a purchase under contract. If you are already under contract, it is important to have an appraisal back from us before you receive one back from your mortgage lender so that the benefits of our appraisal can be maximized. For example, our appraisal can be used to help you exit an above-market purchase price when an appraisal contingency exists in the purchase contract. If the appraisal from the mortgage lender, which is typically influenced by your purchase contract, supports your purchase price, you may not be able to renegotiate the purchase price or exit the purchase because there is contrary evidence.

Are there other benefits to ordering an appraisal before buying a home?

  • If our appraised value in less than the purchase price, the appraisal may be able to be used to negotiate a lower purchase price.
  • It can help you exit a bad purchase. Usually there are appraisal contingencies with purchases. The appraisal will not only give confidence in your purchase, it may be able to be used to allow the purchase contract to be canceled.
  • It may be able to help you acquire a loan that otherwise fails. We have had many situations where the mortgage lender's appraisal indicates a lower value and our appraisal is used to provide support for a purchase price. Mortgage lenders typically put their own appraisal restrictions and requirements on appraisers which do not allow the appraiser to use the best/most applicable comparable properties and our appraisal can be used to supplement the mortgage lender's appraisal and enable the loan. There is no guarantee of this, but it has happened.

Call us at (508) 995-9079 for additional information.

Trahan Real Estate Services  
Trahan Real Estate Services
Trahan Real Estate Services
Phone: (508) 995-9079 | Fax: (508) 995-9080
New Bedford, MA & Celebration, FL
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