Scott E. Davis Real Estate Appraiser has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Go to list of questions) An appraisal report is a thought process allowing the appraiser to come to an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser will use a few "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. One of the methods is the Cost Approach - which is how much capital would be required to replace the improvements, less physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns finding a comparable analysis to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a 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.
Describe what an appraiser does(Go to list of questions) An appraiser produces a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, in the support of real estate transactions. Appraisers document their expert investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would require your services?(Go to list of questions) There are a lot of reasons to obtain an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for getting an appraisal report include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (Go to list of questions)Home inspectors do not provide an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. A third-party home inspector will judge the structure of the house, from the roof to the bottom. Usually, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural integrity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Go to list of questions) To be blunt, it's night and day. The CMA depends on vague market trends. The appraisal relies on specific valid comparable sales. Also, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, area and replacement costs. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the most significant factor is the person 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 voice, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (Go to list of questions)Each report should indicate a credible estimate of value and should identify the following:
After completing the appraisal, how can I have certainty that the value conclusion is trustworthy?(Go to list of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Go to list of questions) Most of the time, appraisers are hired by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of property involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does Scott E. Davis Real Estate Appraiser get the data used to estimate values in San Bernardino County or other areas?(Go to list of questions) One of the most important activities of an appraiser is to collect data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are documented by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a many sources. To look up recent sales to be used as "comps", we typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(Go to list of questions) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever the value of your home is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out 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. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Scott E. Davis Real Estate Appraiser is the best way to ensure assets are split up properly. 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?(Go to list of questions) PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI guards the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the house is less than what is owed on the loan. 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.
Does the appraiser need anything from me in advance?(Go to 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 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 shrubs and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can easily access items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make our visit go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(Go to list of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(Go to list of questions) 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 appraisal - 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 engages an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, 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 use the appraisal for any purpose.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(Go to list of questions) A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. According to one national survey, kitchen remodels returned an average of 88% of the investment. In other words, a $10,000 kitchen remodeling project would add approximately $8,800 to the value of the home. Bathrooms were second, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.