Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Back to top)An appraisal is an investigation that concludes with an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is discerned through a formal method that typically utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, less the depreciation and physical deterioration, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in finding the likely sales price of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which involves making a comparison to similar houses nearby. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most precise and best indicator of market value for a residential property. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is of most importance in appraising income producing properties - it involves estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Back to top)An appraiser forumlates a fair and credible opinion of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers show their expert analysis in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would require services from 1st Choice Appraisal ?(Back to top)There are many reasons to order an appraisal from 1st Choice Appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for obtaining an appraisal include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Back to top)Home inspectors do not figure out an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the property, from the roof to the bottom. The standard property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the property's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and accessible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Back to top)Simply put, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. What the CMA relies upon are ill-defined trends. The appraisal is reliant on specific verifiable comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, neighborhood and replacement prices. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
Who's behind the report is frankly the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is written by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing real estate in and around Greene County creates the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their outcome.
What's in an appraisal report? (Back to top)Each report must reflect a believable value opinion and should identify the following:
After completing the report, how can I have certainty that the final number is veritable?(Back to top)In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who do appraisers work for?(Back to top)Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, needing their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Springfield and surrounding areas?(Back to top)Gathering data is one of the primary roles of an appraiser. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a numerous places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To verify actual sales prices, we look at items in the assessor's office and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property is in a flood zone, so that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(Back to top)Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out the price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from 1st Choice Appraisal is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up evenly. A house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Back to top)PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional policy covers the lender in the event a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the property is less than what is owed on the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.
Does the appraiser need anything from me in advance?(Back to top)The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general condition of its features. Inside, pick up any clutter and make sure we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.
The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(Back to top)In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(Back to top)In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. While the buyer pays for the report as part of the closing costs, the lender retains the right to use the report or any information contained within. The buyer is certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
It's different when it's the homeowner engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Which home renovations add the most to the price?(Back to top)A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms were second, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.