Confidential Real Estate Consultants has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(List of questions) The appraisal process is an estimation that produces an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which helps the real estate appraiser arrive at this opinion or estimate. One of them is the Cost Approach - which is how much capital would be required to replace the improvements, less physical deterioration and other factors, then adding the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns discovering a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. The Sales Comparison Approach is commonly the most definitive and clearest indicator of a liklely sales price for a residence. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is generally used to find the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(List of questions) An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers document their investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons someone would request a real estate appraisal?(List of questions) There are a lot of reasons to order an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for purchasing an appraisal report include:
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection? (List of questions)The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a complete home inspection. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the house, from the roof to the bottom. Usually, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the necessities of the home: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical systems, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(List of questions) Simply put, it's like comparing Shakespeare to reality TV. The CMA uses market trends to conduct most of their business. The appraisal relies on specific definite comparable sales. The appraisal report will also contain neighborhood and construction prices. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
The person creating the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not be trained in technical valuation concepts or even have a handle on market trends. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.
What does the appraisal report contain? (List of questions)Each report should demonstrate a believable estimate of value and must document the following:
Once the report has been delivered, what guarantee is there that the value indicated is valid?(List of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical customer, using their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Miami-Dade County or other areas?(List of questions) Gathering data is one of the primary occupations of an appraiser. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a many sources. To look up recent sales to be used as "comps", we often go to the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers routinely have 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 assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(List of questions) 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, be sure you're not overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. A house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making wise financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(List of questions) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary policy guards the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than the balance of the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(List of questions) The first step in most appraisals is the home 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 status of its amenities. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, 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:
What does "Market Value" mean?(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who actually owns the appraisal report?(List of questions) For mortgage transactions, the lender orders 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 included with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner hires an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may stipulate the purpose of the appraisal; 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.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(List of questions) This really depends on where the home is. For example, putting in an inline humidifier could be nice in arid regions, but completely useless near the coast!
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 are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. On the contrary, work that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.