Appraisals Are Not Just For Mortgage Financing: Non Traditional Uses

Most people only think about real estate appraisals when they are buying or refinancing a home. In truth real estate appraisals are used for many other “non traditional” uses.  Appraisals are required any time the value of real estate is needed.  The value may be as of the date it was inspected or it could be as of a past date.  The latter type of appraisal is referred to as a retrospective appraisal.  I have listed below the various other types of appraisals that are sometimes needed:Thomas (Tom) Horn Real Estate Appraisal Form

Marketing Appraisals– An appraisal can be ordered before a home is listed, either by owner or realtor.  By getting the appraisal before the listing you can be assured that when it goes under contract the value will not be a stumbling block to the sales transaction.

Tax Appeal Appraisals– Appraisals for tax appeal purposes have become more popular these days because of the decline in property values.  Unless your home has been recently accessed by the county it could be overvalued, resulting in you paying too much in property taxes.

Estate Planning Appraisals– Appraisals are typically ordered when property is transferred due to the death of the owner.  This is usually for tax or inheritance purposes.  They can be ordered by the attorney, accountant, or family member.

Bankruptcy Appraisals– Most of the time when people file for bankruptcy they want to get rid of all of their bills, however they will usually exclude their home as they want to keep it to live in.  Both types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, require the owner to provide proof of the value of their assets.

Foreclosure Appraisals– Lenders are usually interested in this type of appraisal.  They need to know the value of their collateral in order to make a decision regarding foreclosure or the sale of a house that is already bank owned (REO-Real Estate Owned).

Appraisals For PMI Removal– This type of appraisal was more prevalent several years ago when property values were increasing.  It was used to facilitate the removal of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which was extra insurance that lenders required from home buyers who obtained loans that were more than 80 percent of their new home’s value.

As you can see, appraisals are used for more that just the purchase or sale of a home with a bank or mortgage company.  They are used in many other circumstances.  Are you, or someone you know, in one of the above situations?  I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.

If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on facebook.


  1. Great list Tom. People often forget appraisals are needed for more than just when homes are sold.

    • That’s right Bryan. I’ve heard a lot of appraisers who just do work in these “non traditional” areas. My goal is to make this a larger percentage of my work so that I am not effected as much by the fluctuations in the market.

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