Ebert Appraisal Service has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(Return to top) The process of performing an appraisal report consists of an evaluation which leads to an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a number of "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of them is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, then adding the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with making a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best method in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Return to top) An appraiser offers an impartial and well justified assessment of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers demonstrate their findings in appraisal reports.
Why would someone need your services?(Return to top) There are a lot of reasons to purchase an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for getting an appraisal include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (Return to top)Home inspectors do not figure out an opinion of value and are not appraisers. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the house, from the roof to the foundation. The stereotypical home inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the integrity 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)?(Return to top) Frankly, it's like comparing opera to country. The CMA utilizes market trends to conduct most of their business. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, area and building 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.
But the most significant factor is who's doing the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no conditional interest in the value of a home, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (Return to top)The main purpose of an appraisal document is to provide a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
Upon completion of the appraisal, what guarantee is there that the final number is accurate?(Return to top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who employs appraisers?(Return to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical customer, requiring their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Summit County or other areas?(Return to top) Compiling information is one of the primary activities of an appraiser. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a many sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To verify actual sales prices, we use items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, and 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 collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other houses in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(Return to top) An appraisal is a worthwhile whenever your home's value is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine the price that gets you the most profit but doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Return to top) PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary plan covers the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the property is lower than the loan balance. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(Return to top) We start with an inspection of the home. 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. Is there anything you can do to help? Yes there is! First, be sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any landscaping and move any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can get to items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make things go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(Return to top) For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 entitled 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 stipulate 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 do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Return to top) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want
As a rule, the best ROI from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. 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.