what is an appraisal?

A home purchase is one of the largest single investments most of us will ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation home or an investment opportunity, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties working together to make it happen.The Realtor is often the first real estate professional you will meet, and is usually the most visible throughout the process. The mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title, without prior associated debts or liens, passes from the seller to the buyer.    So who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? There are too many people involved in the real estate process to let such a transaction proceed without ensuring that the value of the property is actually in line with the amount being paid.    This is where the appraiser comes onto the scene. An appraisal report expresses an unbiased, well-researched opinion of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a real estate property, in which both the buyer and seller are informed parties, and acting in their own best interest. To be an informed party, most people turn to a State Certified Appraiser to provide them with the most accurate estimate or opinion of the true value of their property.