Q. What is "Fair Market Value"?
A. Fair Market Value is the most probable price that a property should sell for in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale; the buyer and seller, each acting knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue, anomalous stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: (1) buyer and seller are typically motivated; (2) both parties are well informed or well advised; (3) a reasonable time is allowed for exposure to the open market; (4) payment is made in terms of cash in Canadian Dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and (5) the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.
Q. Can you provide Fair Market Value for a past date?
A. Yes. All of the principles of Fair Market Value remain, though the effective date is in the past. My database goes back to 1980.
Q. What distinguishes your appraisal work?
A. My appraisals strive to clearly demonstrate the property’s fair market value, and how it has been determined. This is established by commentary on 3 levels of market activity:
A summary of the overall municipal market. This includes year over year, month over month analyses, as well as reference to the MLS Home Price Index.
The more local ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘community’ market. Reference is made to the MLS District ( and contiguous districts where appropriate), as well as the specific community and contiguous communities. Direct experience assists me in determining where similar areas begin and end, even outside of MLS boundaries.
Focus is then given to the comparison of the most similar and most recently transacted properties in the Direct Sales Comparison Approach to Value.
The tendency of my appraisals is to provide narrative content wherever appropriate. In my experience this assists the client in confidently moving forward with the appraisal’s purpose at hand.
Q. Can we ask for a value that is high or low.
A. No. I am unable and unwilling to take the assignment if the topic of value, value direction, or other opinions of value comes up, even generally, prior to completion of the appraisal. All work is done on a strictly neutral/unbiased basis. I am hired by clients who wish to know the fair market value as of a specific date.The ethical foundation of my work is governed by the CANADIAN UNIFORM STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL PRACTICE (Effective Date August 1, 2018).
Q. Please distinguish between your Appraisal and a Free Evaluation?
A. We all receive real estate cards in our doors offering "free, no obligation appraisals". Agents are just doing their jobs and hoping for your business. The agent can supply an informal opinion of value and a marketing plan for your consideration. A Fair Market Value Appraisal on the other hand, is a formal demonstration the market value of a property based on thorough research, an understanding of market conditions and careful analysis. No strings attached.
Q. Is the MPAC Assessment a good indicator of Property Value?
A. No. MPAC Assessments are revised every 4 years and are used as a basis for Muniicpal Realty Tax Calculation. MPAC projects a value to the end of the 4 year, term which cannot possibly account for actual market movements one way or the other. In my experience MPAC Assessments are often off by 15-25%. A true appraisal will factor in market activity in real time.
Q. Your policy calls for payment at time of confirmation. Why is that?
A. This is not uncommon in the appraisal industry. The policy discourages any real or perceived relationship between the appraisal result and payment for services.
Q. Can we hire you to critique the work of another appraiser?
A. No. My company and its governing bodies (OREA/RECO) would consider this to be unethical. They do not permit me to comment on the work of other appraisers. It is more constructive to request a fresh appraisal without any reference to other work.
Q. Do you factor in "the condition" of the property.
A. Yes, absolutely. After adjustments for location, time, lot size, interior square footage, room count, finishes, and parking (etc.) the property's specific condition is considered. Adjustments are then made for any significant items structure, mechanics, renovations, deficiencies. These items are fairly apparent at the time of inspection.
Q. How much does an appraisal cost?
A. The appraisal fee for a standard Toronto home begins at $495.00 + HST, depending on size. The appraisal fee for a standard Toronto condominium or co-op begins at $395.00 + HST. Additional effective dates are $295.00 + HST. A firm quote is sent to the client with a letter confirming the assignment once payment is received. Payment is requested in advance in order to confirm the inspection appointment and to maintain complete neutrality in the appraisal process.
Q. Do you appraise commercial properties?
A. No. I am a Certified Residential Market Value Appraiser (MVA) and my designation focuses on single family homes, duplexes, condos, co-ops, and individual building lots.I do not formally appraise commercial properties.
Q. Do you have junior assistants doing some of the work?
A. No. I do not delegate my work to apprentice/assistants/secretaries. In fact I personally handle each and every aspect of the appraisal: Inspection, research, draft, the final report, and all follow up. I do not have assistants do any of the appraisal work.
Q. How much notice do you require for an appraisal inspection?
A. Depending on our mutual schedules I can usually set up an appointment in 3 or 5 business days. Inspections are generally arranged Monday-Friday 11:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. The inspection will take up to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the property.
Q. How long does it take to prepare an appraisal?
A. Comfortably, 3-5 business days.
Q. How many properties are considered in your appraisal?
A. Typically I will go back in time up to 2 years in the subject neighborhood looking for similar type and style of homes. The first list is usually 25-40 comparable properties and they are saved on-line for careful examination. This group is gradually reduced to the 3 most recent sales of the most comparable properties. I do not recycle my research. Each appraisal is approached freshly as each property and each market period has its own unique characteristics.
Q. Distinguish between a Home Inspection and an Appraisal
A. The Market Value Appraisal is intended to capture the value of a property as of an effective date, based on market research of comparable sales, relevant economic conditions, and relative values of various elements of the property. A Home Inspection, on the other hand, is intended to analyze the 'functionality' of the property considering structural, mechanical, and systemic components. The Home Inspector may refer to costs of repair, but matters of real estate property values are not a part of their expertise. It would be highly unusual for a Home Inspector to comment on the value of the property.
Q. Is there anything I have to do before the inspection?
A. There isn't a lot required of the client before an appraisal inspection. Generally speaking, the home in its normal condition is sufficient for appraisal purposes. It is very helpful if there is easy access to the heating cooling systems, electrical panel, garage, and all of the rooms of the property. If there is any ongoing work, it would be useful to discuss the estimate. Other matters like realty taxes, assessments, area sales are already on file with the appraiser.
Q. Does the client have to be at the property?
A. The client normally arranges to meet me at the property. Sometimes a relative, neighbor, concierge or tenant provides access and payment on the client's behalf.
Q. Do you discuss the appraisal results with anyone else?
A. No. All work is confidential. The appraisal is for the client's information only and can be discussed with a third party only with the client's express permission.
Q. Do you appraise condos and co-ops?
A. Yes. While they are two different types of entities, the approach to value is essentially the same.
Q. Do you appraise out of town properties?
A. Time permitting, yes. I am licensed to appraise across Ontario and often appraise homes in Toronto's suburbs. Generally speaking however, you're best advised to hire an appraiser who specializes in your particular location.