Mortgage Dictionary -> Appraisal
An Appraisal is written estimate of the value of piece of real estate, done by a qualified real estate appraiser. You might need a home appraisal for several reasons. If you want to insure your home, then you'll be asked for a home appraisal. Another case when you need an appraisal is when you apply for a mortgage. In this case the bank will want to appraise the value of the home you want to buy, in order to ensure that you are paying fair market value for the property.
Being a real estate appraiser requires several skills, including strong communication skills, analytical mind and of course hands-on experience. One of the most important things affecting the appraisal of a home is recent sales data of comparable properties. For example if you are getting your home appraised, the appraiser will check recent real estate transactions of similar houses in your neighborhood and they will use this data as basis for the appraisal.