Common Issues

December, 18 2020 Published by North Saskatchewan Chapter

Appraisal, Assessment, Opinion... Oh My

From the North Saskatchewan Chapter Winter 2020 issue of Condo Voice

An Article to help you understand the difference between this type of information.

This year, our world significantly changed with the spread of COVID-19. I hope you’re staying healthy and safe during these challenging times. The pandemic has impacted many markets including the Real Estate market. The information shared among media outlets can be confusing as there are often contradictory stats. However, keep reading and I’ll provide you with current information that will help answer some of your questions on determining the value of your property and buying or selling a condominium.

After years of selling all types of residential property, I found that the Real Estate market should not be lumped together as one category but broken down into specific ones. The categories shouldn’t only be residential, condominium and acreages either. For condos I would also include the following categories: new build; recent new build resale; older resale; townhouses; apartment styles; as well as the location within the city that will differentiate one condo from another.

When I’m researching market value for a specific condo for one of my clients, I feel it is best to try to compare apples to apples and find the best comparable condos. There is often confusion with homeowners between values from a Certified Appraiser, City Assessment, and Realtor Market Evaluations. Here’s information on what each value assessment includes:

Appraisal – An appraisal is done for many reasons including the refinance of a property or for the sale. The appraiser will usually find three active listings and three of the most recent sales and compare the subject property to those sales. Depending on which comparisons they gather could affect the value they prepare. They will break value down to the finest detail. Banks work hand in hand with appraisers to set or meet value requirements.

Assessment - The city, town or RM you live in will need to provide a value for every property so they can determine tax amounts owed for the year. The city assessors will very seldom view a property in person but instead take your location, style and square feet and place it into a value set. These value assessments are usually only updated every 5 years. In the City of Saskatoon, values are being determined with data from January 1, 2015.

Realtor CMA - every Realtor has their own process and level of detail and experience that goes into determining value. Here’s how I conduct a comparative market evaluation: First, I prepare information on the property from city websites, land titles and MLS history. Then I would view the home in-person to get a feel for layout, updates that are needed or have been completed, etc. Then I would search through MLS history looking for a large amount of excellent comparable properties that would help set a range of listing price and sale price for the subject property. I breakdown all that information and determine where value would fit compared to what else has sold in that building, area and style using the information gathered and knowledge of the current market.

All three of these styles could end up providing very similar values or very different values. If you are looking to find resale value for your property, it is best to find a trustworthy and experienced Realtor to give you the best possible range of where it should sell in the current market as well as provide information on the sale process and costs to be expected.

Surprisingly, the MLS Condominium sales numbers are very close in the last year to-date than the year previous with 1009 MLS sales this last 365 days compared to 998 sales the year before. There was a slowdown of activity in March and April due to the pandemic. However, there was an excellent bounce back of activity from May through to October. Keep in mind that during these challenging times, some people did not want to sell during the pandemic. Also, university and colleges started this school year virtually which has reduced the amount of properties selling for students.

Below are stats that I’ve collected on older resale condos and newer resale condos, townhouses and apartment style, as well as percentages of what portion that style fits in the market. If you have questions and would like to sell your property, please reach out to your Real Estate professional. If you don’t have someone in mind, I’d be happy to help you!

Chris May
RE/MAX Saskatoon


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