Keeping up with appraisals as the Rockford housing market booms

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 5:56 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Realtors say now is the time to put your house on the market and make repairs or upgrades to keep the home’s value steady.

“The real estate volume is up so we have had a very busy 2020,” said Courtney Prentice, an appraiser with Rally Appraisal.

Prentice is hired by banks to determine the market value for any given property.

“We look at a lot of different factors. predominantly we look at sales comparable, what houses have sold for recently to come up with what a property is worth,” Prentice said.

The number an appraiser comes up with is what the banks use to verify a property’s worth before providing a potential homebuyer with a loan.

“Sometimes they fall short, sometimes they are higher than the sales prices - that happens,” Prentice said.

If the home’s appraisal doesn’t match the asking price, which is common for a booming market like Rockford, buyers must make a choice.

“Are they going to come up with the cash for the difference between the appraisal and the contract price? Or are they going to renegotiate? Often times they have to renegotiate,” Prentice said.

“It’s so important to have an appraiser as part of that process,” said Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors.

Brown said that an appraisal is an important step in the home buying process that protects the bank but ultimately safeguards the buyer.

“As a bank that’s lending you money, knows that this is going to be a transaction and this is going to be successful and that’s what we want," Brown said. “[We want] people to be in their homes, be able to afford their payments and have it reflect the market.”

According to Rockford Area Realtors, homes sold for $13,000 more this September than last year, and last month the Rockford region saw the largest number of total sales and new listings in more than 10 years.

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