info@aasottawa.com 613-234-4400

FAQ

An appraisal is an unbiased, formally presented opinion of a property’s value. AAS’s professional valuation expertise provides our clients with a sound basis for making real estate decisions such as buying / selling a home or refinancing a mortgage.

An appraisal is important if you will be making a significant financial decision based on your home’s value. A few examples:

  • Determining a property’s buying / selling price.
  • Estate planning / valuations.
  • Ensuring that a property is fairly divided in a divorce or estate settlement.
  • Refinancing your current mortgage to buy an investment property.
  • Contesting unfairly high property taxes.
  • Establishing replacement costs for insurance purposes.
  • It is ordered by a government department such as Canada Revenue Agency.
  • For accounting purposes if you plan to turn your primary house into a rental property

Our prices are competitive and depend on the complexity of the appraisal report. If you have any questions, please contact us. We’d be happy to talk to you about your needs and to provide a quote for an appraisal.


info@aasottawa.com
Phone: 613-234-4400

An AAS appraisal report will identify:

  • Estimated market value of the home
  • Sales data for comparable properties
  • Purpose and intended use of the report
  • Value analysis
  • Estimated rental income (if applicable)
  • The client and other intended users
  • Type and definition of value reported
  • Effective date of the appraiser’s opinions and conclusions
  • The scope of work used to complete the assignment
  • Property characteristics including physical / location attributes, legal / economic attributes, and the real property interest valued

Your appraisal will be based on information such as the home’s location, condition, size, and access to amenities; recent sales data from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS); public records and assessment data; and the appraiser’s experience in the same market. The process usually involves two of the three “common approaches to value”:

Cost Approach – This approach takes into account the site value, overall condition of the home, improvements made to the property, and depreciation factors such as physical deterioration.

Sales Comparison Approach – How much have similar, nearby properties sold for recently? This approach typically gives the most accurate indication of residential property value.

Income Approach – Given the income produced by the property, what would an investor pay for the property? This approach is used when appraising income-producing properties.

Our Client Care Commitment is to ensure:

  • Your value estimate is credible and supportable.
  • Your appraisal is based on appropriate, accurate data.
  • Your appraisal will strictly adhere to industry best practices.
  • Your estimate will be completed by nationally accredited appraisers and professional staff.

AAS’s appraisers are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Ethics and Standards – either the Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (CUSPAP) 

Members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) participate in a professional appraisal-specific Errors & Omission insurance program.

AAS’s designated members are highly qualified valuation professionals who undertake a rigorous program integrating professional studies, examinations, and hands-on experience before being granted their designation. This ensures that our team members have the most up-to-date education and skills to offer our clients. Once designated, AAS’s team members must stay current by taking continuing education courses.

Residential Appraisers can have the following designations:

Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI)
AACI-designated members are permitted to perform appraisals on any real property, provided they have shown competence with the given property type and are familiar with the geographic and market factors that influence value.

Canadian Residential Appraiser (CRA, P. App)
CRA, P.App-designated members are permitted to perform an appraisal on any residential property containing a maximum of four self-contained family housing units or one individual undeveloped residential dwelling site, provided they have shown competence with the given property type and are familiar with the geographic and market factors that influence their value.

No. An appraisal is a professional estimate of a home’s value, while a home inspection is a detailed evaluation of a home’s structure and mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing, heating, etc.). An appraisal does take a home’s structure and systems into account, but in less detail than a full inspection. An appraiser’s inspection will, at the minimum, be thorough enough to:
(a) adequately describe the real estate in the appraisal report;
(b) develop an opinion of highest and best use, when such an opinion is necessary and appropriate, and;
(c) make meaningful comparisons in the valuation of the property.

While they may seem similar, they are quite different based on levels of diligence and impartiality. Both are an estimation of a property’s value based on market trends and comparable properties, taking into account factors such as condition, location, and construction costs. However, appraisals performed by AAS are completed by highly qualified valuation professionals who have completed a rigorous program of appraisal-specific professional studies, examinations, and hands-on experience. In fact, we are often asked by very successful realtors to give second opinions when a listing is unique or there is a need for an objective third-party opinion.

AAS is an impartial party with no vested interest in the home’s value. AN AAS appraisal is a carefully documented, defensible, presentable, and recognized report that is widely accepted by Canada Revenue Agency, MPAC, courts, real estate corporations, chartered banks, trust companies, mortgage lending institutions, and all levels of the government and private individuals. This sets An AAS report apart from a realtor’s CMA – even if the CMA has been completed with the same level skill, knowledge, and expertise.

Most major lenders engage an AMC (appraisal management company) to manage their appraisal needs. An AMC is an impartial body whose role is to coordinate interactions between lenders / brokers and appraisers. The AMC may deliver orders to appraisers, track appraisals in progress, oversee quality of appraisal reports, deliver appraisals to the lender/broker, negotiate appraisal fees, or verify an appraiser’s certification. AAS completes reports for all major lenders and works with their AMC of choice.

If you have a property that needs an appraisal, we’d be happy to help. You can place an order with AAS Accredited Appraisal Services Inc in a number of ways:

Phone – Call our office at 613-234-4400 and speak to a team member. If it is after hours, please leave a detailed voice message and we will contact you as soon as possible on the next business day.

Email – info@aasottawa.com. We will contact you to confirm the order.

An AAS appraiser will arrive at your home, introduce themselves, and present a business card. The appraiser will gather information that will allow for meaningful comparisons in the valuation of your home. The appraiser will typically confirm the living area of your home, establish the floor plan, assess its condition and quality of finish, determine the home’s “effective age”, and document the report with photos. You will be asked questions about updates, additions, renovations (if any), special assessments, oil tanks, awareness of easements, etc. You can help streamline the process by making sure that all areas of the home are accessible – especially if you have tenants.

It is very helpful and will aid in the completion of the report if the appraiser is provided with or can view any of the following:

  • Survey and building plans of the house and/or property.

  • Certificate of Title.

  • Recent tax assessment.

  • A copy of the original or renovation plans/budget.

Appraisals are generally billed to the financial institution/broker directly, but if not, payment will be collected at this point or will be charged to the mortgage broker/lender involved in the transaction.

We always welcome questions or feedback regarding the property, neighbourhood etc. Similarly, we would be happy to discuss the “process” of an appraisal.

If the appraisal was ordered through an AMC/broker:
The appraiser will research and send the file to the bank usually within 1 business day, depending on the complexity of the appraisal. After this point the lender/broker will contact the client to proceed with the lending process.

If you ordered the appraisal directly through AAS Accurate Appraisal Services Inc. Depending on the complexity of the case, your appraisal will be emailed to you between 1 and 5 business days. Hard copies will also be provided. During the process, the appraiser will keep you informed about the status of the report. Please feel free to contact AAS with questions at any time.

AAS has no reservations about providing a copy of our report if instructed to do so. Appraisal Standards require “client confidentiality” and unfortunately, only the “client/party or parties who engaged” the appraiser for the specific assignment are privy to the appraisal report. Appraisals ordered by a banker, broker, Appraisal Management Company (AMC), or such may be released to the homeowner if their own internal policy permits.

So what does that really mean? Unfortunately, even though you may have paid for the report we are bound by our appraisal standards and may not be able to provide a copy.

In the case of a private appraisal, AAS Accurate Appraisal Services Inc. will deliver the report to you and may stipulate how the appraisal can be used (i.e. asset management, estate planning, tax purposes, etc.) based on your requirements.

The most important factor, as anyone knows, is location. Even a run-down property can be highly valued if it sits in a good location. The flip side is that the value of a great home in a poor location can suffer as a result. Is it close to schools and shops? Major transportation arteries or public transit? Parks? Even location-related features such as being close to rental properties can have an impact on the value of your home.

Other factors that can affect your home's value include:

  • An over- or under-abundance of similar properties on the market
  • Whether it looks dated compared to similar homes
  • The quality of things such as countertops, light fixtures and finishes
  • An unusual floor plan
  • The repairs (e.g., roof, heating/cooling system) that may be needed
  • A swimming pool. (This can be a negative or positive influence, depending on the—you guessed it—location.)
  • The size, location or even existence of a garage
  • Fencing
  • Stigma (does the home or property have a "reputation"?)
  • The existence of mould or other harmful contaminants
  • Curb appeal—yes, appearances matter

This is tough to answer because it depends largely on your market and your neighbourhood. Presenting a clean, freshly painted (neutral colours!) and modern home is always appealing. While even relatively minor kitchen and bathroom upgrades will almost always improve the value of your home, there are other things you can do, as well:

  • Create space by removing non-structural walls or even the kitchen island
  • Inspect the furnace and septic system and repair it, if needed
  • Clean up the landscaping by trimming trees and shrubs and mowing the lawn
  • Replace or repair leaky windows
  • Insulate the attic
  • Repair plumbing leaks
  • Upgrade your flooring
  • Install storm doors
  • Improve lighting in poorly lit areas
  • Replace worn-out appliances or HVAC systems

A certified appraisal is a professionally written, formal and impartial estimate of the value of a residential and properly described property, as of a specific date. It is supported by the presentation and analysis of pertinent data.

We are trained specifically to conduct residential real estate appraisals. That's all we do. As such, our appraisals are credible, thorough, accurate, and, most importantly, unbiased. More often than not, major lenders require a professionally prepared valuation before they approve financing. It's the only way they—and you—can be sure of the value of the property. We can provide that assurance. And, in the case of a legal or tax dispute, our court-ready appraisals are able to stand up to the scrutiny of even the most relentless lawyer.

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