Generally speaking, a licensed appraiser, who is appraising a property for a lender or insurer, has a limitation. He must us current, verified comparable sales to complete his work. He is, in effect, providing his clients with a "photograph" of the past . He is basing his evaluation on provable past performance. In other words, he is limited to basing his work on closed escrows. Many real estate transactions begin with a marketing period that may take weeks, or even months, before the escrow is opened. Add to that the weeks, or months, before the deal has all of the contingencies removed, and the time for a lender to fund the loan, it is not uncommon for 6 months or more to go by between the time the contract is signed and the transaction is recorded for public knowledge.
Limited to these restrictions, an appraisal may be very unreliable with respect to what buyers are willing to pay today for that same property.
A firm like LItton/Fuller Group, who specializes exclusively in income property transactions, is currently in the process of creating transactions that will eventually be the facts upon which appraisers will base their conclusions. Litton/Fuller Group agents are aware of those trends affecting the market today.
There are buyers who are very content if they "feel" like they made a fair deal. Often times this feeling is based on the amount of concessions they are able to negotiate from a seller. Unfortunately, these feelings and concessions may be produce a price and terms that are disadvantageous to the buyer.