Frequently Asked Questions - DRAFT

Why pay for a professional residential real estate appraisal when my real estate agent will do one for free?

A certified appraisal is a professionally written, formal and impartial estimate of the value of a residential and properly described property, as of a specific date. It is supported by the presentation and analysis of pertinent data.

We are trained specifically to conduct residential real estate appraisals. That’s all we do. As such, our appraisals are credible, thorough, accurate, and, most importantly, unbiased. More often than not, major lenders require a professionally prepared valuation before they approve financing. It’s the only way they—and you—can be sure of the value of the property. We can provide that assurance. And, in the case of a legal or tax dispute, our court-ready appraisals are able to stand up to the scrutiny of even the most relentless lawyer.

What factors influence my home’s market value?

The most important factor, as anyone knows, is location. Even a run-down property can be highly valued if it sits in a good location. The flip side is that the value of a great home in a poor location can suffer as a result. Is it close to schools and shops? Major transportation arteries or public transit? Parks? Even location-related features such as being close to rental properties can have an impact on the value of your home.

Other factors that can affect your home’s value include:

An over- or under-abundance of similar properties on the market
Whether it looks dated compared to similar homes
The quality of things such as countertops, light fixtures and finishes
An unusual floor plan
The repairs (e.g., roof, heating/cooling system) that may be needed
A swimming pool. (This can be a negative or positive influence, depending on the—you guessed it—location.)
The size, location or even existence of a garage
Stigma (does the home or property have a “reputation”?)
The existence of mould or other harmful contaminants
Curb appeal—yes, appearances matter

How long does a home appraisal take?

Our professional residential real estate appraisers can usually submit a written valuation on your home within five business days.

Where do you get the information to complete an appraisal on my home?
Depending on the situation and using the skills and expertise gained over decades of experience, our sources might include other real estate professionals, the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), tax records, data from private or public vendors, court records or even interviews with sellers or buyers, as well as an inspection of the property.

What can I do to my home to make it more valuable?

This is tough to answer because it depends largely on your market and your neighbourhood. Presenting a clean, freshly painted (neutral colours!) and modern home is always appealing. While even relatively minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades will almost always improve the value of your home, there are other things you can do, as well:

Create space by removing non-structural walls or even the kitchen island
Inspect the furnace and septic system and repair it, if needed
Clean up the landscaping by trimming trees and shrubs and mowing the lawn
Replace or repair leaky windows
Insulate the attic
Repair plumbing leaks
Upgrade your flooring
Install storm doors
Improve lighting in poorly lit areas
Replace worn-out appliances or HVAC systems

Where can I get a professional, accurate and objective appraisal for my home?