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Appraisal Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions

What appraiser license do you hold?

Since 1991, I have been a State Certified Residential Appraiser, licensed by the North Carolina Appraisal Board.

What areas do you cover as an appraiser?

Hillsborough and most of Orange County, the Mebane area in eastern Alamance County, and southern Caswell and Person Counties.

Who needs an appraisal?

Appraisals are typically thought about when someone is purchasing a home and the lender needs to know the property’s value in order to make a sound, secure loan. However, there are many other times when appraisals are needed. Federal and State law now require certified appraisals be done for most probate cases where a property owner has died, and their survivor’s tax liability is determined by the value of the real estate at the time of death.

Are there other examples?


1) Contested divorces where real estate is involved requires a competent appraiser to determine the value of any real estate held so that equitable distribution can be determined fairly. Attorneys oftentimes initiate this aspect of appraisal work.

2) Potential buyers, as well as real estate agents, will call on me to appraise a home or piece of property before making an offer on the property. Reasons might include a feeling the property may be overpriced, or perhaps the buyers will use the appraisal as a negotiating tool down the road.

3) Disputing county tax revaluations. Every four to seven years, counties reappraise all real estate in the county for tax purposes. I typically get 30-40 calls every revaluation from property owners wanting me to appraise their property to make sure they aren’t being unfairly taxed.

4) Sellers who are thinking about selling some or all of their property. Some landowners want a current, quality appraisal in hand before pricing their property for sale. Using a stale, outdated value can be costly if the property has appreciated rapidly.

What makes a good real estate appraiser?

There are three important criteria: Knowing the market area of the property being appraised, honesty, and integrity. Without all three, serious problems can arise. My client list over the past 30+ years is long and distinguished, and I can provide references as needed.

What does an appraiser cost?

That will depend on several factors. The scope of the assignment, the time and effort required to complete the assignment, and the time frame requested to have the assignment completed. For example: An appraisal of a two bedroom home on a small lot in Hillsborough would cost significantly less than the appraisal of a 200 acre farm in Cedar Grove containing three houses and ten outbuildings.

How long are appraisals and their values ‘good for’?

From a lender’s perspective, six months to a year is about the shelf life of an appraisal. The accurate answer is about 24 hours. A good example is what happened on September 11, 2001. When our nation was shook to the core, our local real estate economy staggered as well. I reviewed several appraisals that I had completed from September 1st-10th of that year and found looking back, that while the original values were fair and accurate based on the current data available, the reality was there was a significant loss in value based solely on the aftermath of the bombings, and the effect they had on our local market, and had absolutely nothing to do with the actual properties themselves.

How long does it take to do an appraisal?

This will vary due to several factors. Complexity of the assignment, time and energy needed to gather all necessary data, and the appraiser workload all play a role in how long the assignment will take. Typically, I’ll work with my clients to provide the report in a timely manner to meet their needs.