Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions Black Rock Appraisal is often asked:

What Is An Appraisal?

An appraisal is a fully researched, analyzed and assembled document provided by a licensed or certified real estate appraiser. Appraisers provide independent, objective, and unbiased opinions on the value of property. Additionally, appraisers can provide informed assistance to owners, managers, sellers and investors in real estate.

Reports provided by an appraiser supply information to their clients’ so a thoughtful decision can be made about real property. Appraisals are usually presented in document form, but in some circumstances an appraisal can be produced orally. Written appraisals will generally consist of: property description and location, an in-depth analysis of the property, information on the sales of comparable properties in the immediate neighborhood, and an assessment of recent real estate activity and market trends pertaining to the property. Other significant factors taken into account are the actual cost to either replace or construct a similar property, and the earning potential of the property.

Are you certified by the state of Washington?

As a State Certified appraiser, I have worked extensively in the King, Pierce, and Snohomish county markets. I work with a long list of approved mortgage lenders in Washington, and I’m approved with the majority of banks in the area. I also work with the private market, including attorneys, individual homeowners, and families with estate planning needs. I appraise conventional and FHA loans. As well as State Certified, I am also an associate member of the Appraisal Institute.

How long have you been in practice?

I’ve been in practice in Washington for 20 years, and I have appraised single family homes, 2-4 unit properties, condominiums and vacant land. I have extensive knowledge in luxury homes, estates, waterfront properties, and historical registered homes, as well as many other types of properties.

What are some other types of clients/properties you’ve worked with?

I have a wide range of experience in the condominium market, including new construction, downtown high-rise, penthouse units, and conversion units. I’ve worked extensively with clients in the 2-4 family market, attached homes, and zero lots line or attached homes. I have appraised for Banks and Mortgage Companies with a primary focus on the mortgage industry.

What is a Property Inspection?

The first step is to make an onsite inspection of the property to be appraised. From the inspection we can ensure that such features as number of bedroom and bathrooms, and location have been accurately represented, do actually exist, and are in the appropriate condition to meet a buyer’s expectations. We note updating and remodeling that has been completed, as well as the overall quality of the improvements. We measure these improvements to calculate an accurate estimate of the home’s square footage. Beyond physically inspecting the property, we can find out important information from a photograph or sketch of the property. We can discern whether there are any defects that will negatively impact the true valuation of the property.

What is the Sales Comparison method?

Properties are located in neighborhoods. Learning as much as it’s possible to know about a neighborhood greatly helps an evaluation. Factoring in such variables as access to employment centers, shopping, and community services, as well as proximity to schools and major arterials can cause significant differences in property values.

We research recent sales in the neighborhood to discover which ones are closest in comparison to the property we are appraising. By gathering this information to analyze the complete value—we can include items of interest such as type and quality of view, quality of construction, square footage, bedroom and bath count, and other amenities. Taking these factors into account, specific amenities can be added or deducted using the comparison model, and we can reach a more accurate assessment of the property’s worth.

What is Market Value?

Market value is defined as the most probable price that a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite for a fair sale, when the buyer and seller act prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

Questions? Comments? Please contact us by phone at (206) 227-4614 or send an email to for a prompt reply.


contact | Scott Torre State Certified
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