What Consumers Need to Know About Real Estate Appraisals Appraisers have been wrongly accused of prolonging the nation’s real estate downturn by developing value opinions that are below proposed sale prices. Specifically, they’ve been unfairly criticized for including comparable sales in the valuation process that provide opinions that are below the cost to build. Others, including some real estate agents, mortgage brokers and home builders, have used the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines as a scapegoat for natural declines in the real estate market. Credible and realistic value opinions help to stabilize real estate loans and investments, which promotes socially desirable real estate development. Appraisals are particularly valuable because they are an objective and unbiased source of real estate information. Unlike some other real estate professionals, the appraiser performs a professional service for a fee rather than for a commission contingent on the value conclusion, the approval of a loan or the eventual sale of the property.