Boston real estate appraisals in 2022

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Boston real estate appraisals in 2022


Should I have my Boston Fenway condo appraised before I sell it?  There’s no simple answer. The longer answer is you could but it won’t take the place of the appraisal that the buyer’s lender will order. The market analysis or CMA from a Realtor isn’t the same as an appraisal but it is similar in that we compare recent sales that are nearby, similar and that sold recently. Most importantly Boston real estate brokers do this for free.

Boston condos for sale and over bidding

What is a bank appraisal for a Boston condo?

A Boston condo bank appraisal is part of the underwriting process for the home loan. Lenders need to make sure the Boston condo under contract is worth at least as much as the loan amount. Appraisals are not an exact science. I have seen a few that don’t look like science at all.

How over bidding for a Boston condo for sale can impact an appraisal

Sellers for Boston condo for sale should also be aware that if a Boston condo buyer bids over the appraised value they will have trouble getting the loan approved unless they have a large downpayment. Unfortunately, we see a lot of offers where the Boston condo buyer has a 5% downpayment but they end up bidding more than 5% over the asking price. Usually, such offers are rejected.

I usually advise against paying more than the appraised value for a Boston condo for sale but there are circumstances where it makes sense. If the property is affordable and the buyers plan on living in it for a decade or more it might make sense.

Boston Real Estate for Sale


There are two types of Boston real estate appraisal reports; FNMA or lender reports and market value or non-lender reports.  For this article I will focus on the 7 most common issues and errors with market value appraisals.  All errors are violation of the requirements set forth in an ever-changing  set of quality control standards called the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) to which all appraisers are bound.

Why is the home appraisal process so important in 2021?

A Boston home appraisal is important for all parties involved in the transaction: the lender, the seller, and the homebuyer

The lender wants proof that the amount of the Boston real estate loan does not exceed the value of the home, or they end up taking on more risk in the event you default on your loan and go into bankruptcy. In that instance, the lender might not be able to sell the home for the same amount of money it loaned out and could lose money.

The Boston downtown home appraisal process is important to the seller because it tells them how much their home is worth (the fair market value of their property) and if they priced their home correctly. If they priced their home too low, they may not recover all the equity they have acquired while owning the property, essentially leaving money on the table. If the seller prices the house too high, they’ll likely have to renegotiate with the buyer to either drop their price to the appraised value or see if the Boston downtown condo buyer is willing to pay the extra cost out of pocket. Learn more about how to determine your home’s value

An appraisal is important to the buyer because it provides proof that the property has been priced fairly, and hopefully appraises for at least the offer price they submitted to the seller. If the home appraisal comes in lower than their offer, the homebuyer will have to renegotiate with the sellers or possibly pay more out of pocket since the lender won’t cover the full amount.

The 7 Most Common Issues and Errors with Market Value Real Estate Appraisals

  1. Using the wrong appraisal formgold seven 1600 clr 5721
  2. Missing highest and best use analysis
  3. Excluding an approach to value with no explanation
  4. No reconciliation between various value approaches
  5. Lacking time adjustments
  6. Incorrect date of value
  7. Factual errors

Using the wrong real estate appraisal form

Sometimes I see forms that were designed by FNMA for use with federally insured loans being used for divorce, probate, pre-listing, tax or other non-lending appraisals.  So how does this cause a problem? These lending forms have pre-printed scopes of work, certifications and intended uses and intended users that are not appropriate for non-lender assignments. 

Missing highest and best use real estate analysis

Highest and best use is always that use which would produce the highest value for a property, regardless of its actual current use. It is necessary for the appraiser to develop an opinion of the properties highest and best use and then to report a summary of the analysis within the appraisal report.

No reconciliation between various property value approaches

There are three approaches to value;  the cost approach, the income approach and the sales comparison approach.  When an appraiser uses more than one approach usually they won’t lead to exactly the same value.  So how does an appraiser arrive at one final opinion of value?  the process is called the reconciliation between value approaches.

An appraiser does not have to develop all three of the approaches to value as long as the resulting conclusion is not compromised and can be relied upon for its intended use. However, the appraiser is required to explain why any of the three approaches  was excluded.

 Lacking time adjustments

When the real estate market has increased (or decreased) since the time a comparable was sold a date of sale adjustment will help to bring the old comp up to date with the current market.  The lack of an adjustment in this case is likely to affect the final valuation.

 Incorrect date of value

Each appraisal has an effective date of value. It can be current, retroactive (past) or prospective (future).  I primarily see this error with tax abatement appraisals.  When homes are assessed for 2021 taxes the values were based on the fair market value of the home as of January 1st 2021.  In that case the appraiser must complete a retrospective appraisal using only sales that closed before January 1st 2021, the effective date of value.

Factual Errors

Most appraisals tend to rely on the sales comparison approach to value. This means that fact checking comparable sales is perhaps the most important parts of the appraisal process.  The MLS data is entered by individual brokers and not policed by MLS or anybody else.  As a result it is full of errors.  As the saying  goes “garbage in, garbage out” meaning that  the use of inaccurate data will lead an appraiser to arrive at an inaccurate valuation.


Boston Real Estate for Sale


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