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4 min read May 20, 2023

Appraised vs Market Value: Understanding the Difference

When it comes to real estate, two terms that often come up in discussions are “appraised value” and “market value.” While these terms may sound similar, they have distinct meanings and play significant roles in the buying, selling, and financing of properties.

Understanding the difference between appraised value and market value is crucial for both buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. In this blog post, we will explore the definitions of these terms, discuss how they are determined, and highlight their importance in real estate transactions.

Appraised Value

Appraised value refers to the estimated value of a property determined by a professional appraiser.

It is an objective evaluation based on a thorough examination of various factors, such as the property’s location, size, condition, and comparable sales in the area.

Appraisals are typically performed when a property is being bought or sold, refinanced, or used as collateral for a loan.

Appraisal Process

The appraisal process involves several steps that appraisers follow to determine the value of a property accurately. These steps include:

  1. Property inspection: The appraiser visits the property to assess its condition, features, and any improvements or renovations.
  2. Data collection: The appraiser gathers information about comparable properties in the area, recent sales, and market trends.
  3. Analysis: The appraiser analyzes the collected data, considering factors such as the property’s size, amenities, location, and condition.
  4. Determining value: Based on their analysis, the appraiser determines the property’s appraised value, taking into account any adjustments necessary to align it with similar properties.

Importance of Appraised Value

Appraised value serves various purposes in real estate transactions:

  • Fair market pricing: Appraisals provide an objective evaluation of a property’s value, helping sellers set a fair asking price and buyers make informed offers.
  • Lenders’ requirement: Lenders often require appraisals to ensure the property’s value aligns with the loan amount requested. This helps protect them from lending more than the property is worth.
  • Negotiation tool: Appraised value can be used as a negotiation tool during real estate transactions, allowing buyers or sellers to justify their proposed price based on an independent assessment.

Market Value

Market value, on the other hand, refers to the price a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon in an open market.

It represents the amount a property is likely to sell for under typical market conditions, assuming both parties have reasonable knowledge about the property and are acting in their best interests.

Unlike appraised value, which is determined by a professional, market value can be influenced by various factors, including supply and demand, economic conditions, and buyer sentiment.

Factors Affecting Market Value

Several factors can impact the market value of a property:

  • Location: The neighborhood, proximity to amenities, schools, transportation, and other factors can significantly influence a property’s market value.
  • Property condition: Well-maintained properties with modern amenities generally have higher market values compared to properties requiring significant repairs or renovations.
  • Comparable sales: Recent sales of similar properties in the area provide a benchmark for determining market value.
  • Economic factors: Overall economic conditions, such as interest rates, employment rates, and consumer confidence, can influence the demand for real estate and, consequently, its market value.

Importance of Market Value

Market value plays a crucial role in real estate transactions:

  • Pricing strategy: Sellers use market value as a guide to set their asking price competitively, considering comparable sales and market conditions.
  • Negotiation tool: Buyers can leverage market value to negotiate a lower price, especially if the seller’s asking price is higher than the estimated market value.
  • Real estate investments: Market value is essential for investors to determine the potential return on investment (ROI) and make informed decisions about buying, holding, or selling properties.

Final Word

In conclusion, while appraised value and market value are both significant in real estate, they have distinct meanings and purposes.

Appraised value is an objective assessment conducted by a professional appraiser, while market value represents the price agreed upon between a buyer and a seller in an open market.

Understanding the difference between these two values is crucial for buyers, sellers, and lenders to make informed decisions, set fair prices, and negotiate effectively.

Whether you’re buying, selling, or financing a property, having a clear understanding of these terms will help you navigate the real estate market with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are appraisals always lower than market value?

Appraisals are not always lower than market value; they aim to provide an unbiased and objective estimation of a property's value based on various factors, which can align closely with or differ from the perceived market value.

Is fair market value the same as appraised value?

Fair market value and appraised value are not always the same; fair market value refers to the price a willing buyer and seller would agree upon in an open market, while appraised value is an estimate of a property's value determined by a professional appraiser.

Is it OK to pay more than appraised value?

It is possible to pay more than the appraised value for a property, but it's a decision that should be carefully considered based on individual circumstances and market conditions.


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