In today's real estate market, home appraisal experts are a key part of the process. Without an accurate and detailed valuation of a property, potential homebuyers wouldn't be able to get the residential financing they can afford, putting a damper on the entire segment.
Recently, however, the number of home appraisers has begun to decline. With fewer experienced professionals in the market, it now falls on the shoulders of the younger generation to take over. That can be challenging in some respects, however, as the current market is in fluctuation and providing a fair value on a home is based on a wide range of factors.
Rate of decline slows, but more losses expected
According to the Appraisal Institute, there are fewer active appraisers in the country in 2014 than there were in 2013. While the rate of decline continues, it is slower than before - but, an uptick could be coming around the corner.
The Appraisal Institute reported that the average annual decrease of appraisers is 2.6 percent during the last six years. In 2014, there were only 80,500 active appraisers in the U.S., compared to 81,050 in 2013. While the rate of decline hasn't been as steep as in years past, it could continue thanks to more retirements, fewer people entering this profession and the economy, among other reasons.
In addition to this finding, the Appraisal Institute also noted in its survey of more than 1,400 professionals that 66 percent of current appraisers have been in the industry for at least 15 years. Out of all home appraisal experts, 41 percent focus on commercial real estate while 31 percent deal with residential properties.
Overall, the declining trend of home appraisers puts an emphasis on the newer members of the profession. As more positions open up, it is up to them to fill these roles and continue providing in-depth valuations of real estate.
In order to do that, appraisers must have access to the right amount of information. With CRS Data, professionals can acquire mortgage records, property data and much more, right online. Walkthrough our CRS Data Real Estate Suite to learn more.
Look for the right things during an appraisal
Low appraisals are a serious problem for homeowners, and it could prevent them from getting the right home loan and buying their next property. While a fair valuation is the goal of every professional, sometimes not having the best information can get in the way.
According to Reuters, the best home appraisers understand their neighborhoods. A comparable home in one area may be worth a totally different amount compared to a different part of town. If being local isn't a possibility, professionals should get as much data on the area beforehand.
Appraisers must also know about home improvements, the news source noted. Certain projects add more value than others, like changes to the kitchen and bathroom. Plus, additional bedrooms are always appreciated, especially if they converted attic space into square footage. Above all else, appraisers must have an intimate knowledge of the market and the neighborhood, so they can best help clients.