When done correctly, an appraisal requires more than simply driving by the property and giving a "ball park figure" of what it might be worth. In fact, appraisers are not allowed to give estimates based on such cursory examinations. Spurgeon Appraisals is dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality appraisals, worth the price you pay for them. Our appraisal process involves five stages.
Stage 1: Fee and Contract
Once we determine that we can appraise your property, we will establish your fee and have you sign a contract for our services, so that you understand exactly what we will do for you and to prevent any surprises. For financial institutions, an engagement letter usually takes the place of a contract.
Stage 2: Your Input
When you first contact us, be ready to describe your property to us as well as possible. We appreciate those customers who provide us with deeds, legal descriptions, land surveys, and tax receipts. The more information we have from you at the beginning, the less we need to find later. If our client is a financial institution or attorney’s office, we usually contact the owner or buyer of the property, so we can interview them for this kind of information.
Stage 3: Property Inspection
Normally, we must see your property to appraise it. During this inspection, we will take photographs, measure any buildings being appraised, and ask you any questions we have developed about your property.
Stage 4: Research at the Courthouse
We almost always need to visit your county courthouse during the appraisal process. This allows us to do research into the history of the property: its previous owners, dates of sale, and past sale prices. The courthouse also keeps other records helpful to us, and this is usually where we find any details lacking up to this point.
Stage 5: Sales Research
To determine the value of your property, we must compare it to other, similar properties which have sold recently. Finding truly comparable sales is not always easy. Spurgeon Appraisals keeps a growing database of sales, but sometimes we must do additional research to find properties truly like your own.
Stage 6: Writing the Report
By this point, we should have all the information we need, and we can now write the appraisal report and estimate a value for your property. Usually this stage will only take a few days, since the most time-consuming work has been done already.
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