Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions? Let us help you by answering a few common ones. If we haven’t covered off what you want to know, please reach out to us and one of our experienced professionals will help.

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Why do I need an appraisal?  There are plenty of reasons why you or your lender may be looking for an appraisal, here are some of the most common:

  1. Your mortgage is being finalized or renewing and your lender needs to know the current value of your home.
  2. You are buying a second property and are using the equity in your existing home for the purchase.
  3. You are thinking of putting your house on the market and are wondering what you should list it for.
  4. You require a valuation for family law or estate purposes.
  5. You are planning renovations and want to know what your updates will do to the value of your home.

What is involved? The appraisal process should be relatively quick and is fairly straight forward:

  1. Once an appraisal order is placed, the appraiser will reach out and schedule an appointment to view your home and property.
  2. If a full appraisal is ordered, the appraiser will typically start with taking external pictures and measurements of your home, outbuildings and land.
  3. Once the exterior is complete, the appraiser will move to the interior where photos of each room will be taken, as well as photos of any electrical and/or mechanical systems and any specific points of interest that may impact the valuation (note that people are not to be shown in any photos so they may be asked to vacate a room while the photos are taken).
  4. The appraiser may ask to see a current tax bill or MPAC assessment if they are available.
  5. The appraiser will typically request information on any recent improvements made to the home or property.
  6. The appraiser will take all of the information back to the office and generate a standardized report to be used by the requestor.

How long does it take?  Depending on the complexity of the property, a typical site visit may take anywhere from 30 minutes up to several hours for a large property with multiple outbuildings. 

What if my house is a mess?  The appraiser is concerned about the dwelling and property and not the state of the contents of the home. If the contents of the home or property make it difficult to observe areas or equipment this will need to be noted in the report, along with any indications that there may be structural issues (moist/wet contents, visible mould or stains, strong animal scents).

Will the appraiser provide recommendations for repairs or renovations?  The appraiser is responsible for determining the value of the property and is not necessarily qualified to offer recommendations, quotations or comments on requirements that may need expert input from a professional in building codes or a particular trade. The completed report may make note of observed conditions and advise that contacting a qualified professional would be prudent.

Will my whole property be included in the value?  This depends on who the appraisal is for. It is strongly recommended that you clarify with your lender or mortgage broker if there are any restrictions or exclusions that may impact your value. Some lenders have specific terms that the appraiser must follow. Here are a few examples:

  1. Value based on house plus a specific number of acres, no outbuildings. ie. You have 100 acres with a barn and kennels, but the bank will only allow 5 acres and the barn and kennels would not be included.
  2. Value based on house plus detached garage where there is no attached garage. ie. You have an attached single and a large detached double garage. In this case the double garage would not be included.
  3. Value based on residential use buildings only. ie You run a construction business from your property with garages, warehouses and large equipment which would not be included.

    Make sure you are aware of any restrictions or exclusions your financial institution may have.

When do I get my copy of the appraisal?  If you are ordering the appraisal for yourself and it is addressed to you, it will be emailed to you when complete. If the order is to be addressed to a third party (ie. a bank, mortgage broker or law firm), the appraiser can only release the appraisal to the addressee as per our code of conduct. The appraiser must follow this restriction even if the homeowner was responsible for payment for the appraisal. If you would like a copy or to see the results, you will have to request it from the party to whom the report was addressed. Note that different lenders have their own policies regarding providing appraisal details to their applicants. Some lenders may provide you with a copy and in other cases even your local banker may not have access to the full appraisal report from their head office.

I decided to shop my mortgage to a different bank and my appraisal was already done, can I get a copy of my appraisal sent to the new lender?  The appraisal is for the express use of the addressee and cannot be used by another unless express written permission is obtained from the original addressee (this is known as a ‘Release’). Once you obtain a release, the appraiser can provide a copy to your new lender. 

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!