Desert Appraisals, LLC. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Back to top) An appraisal report is an evaluation that concludes with an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a few "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to replace the improvements to the property, less the age and physical deterioration, adding the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns making a comparable analysis to other similar properties within a close proximity which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a home. 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 money produced by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Back to top) An appraiser forumlates an objective and well substantiated opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers document their professional analysis in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would need your services?(Back to top) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for ordering an appraisal report include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Back to top)Appraisers do not do perform residential property inspections and are not home inspectors. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the accessible structure and appliances of a property, from the roof to the bottom. The general property inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the condition of the house's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(Back to top) Frankly, they have nothing in common. What the CMA relies upon are superficial trends. An appraisal utilizes comparable sales that can be proven by records. Area and building values are also a priority in an appraisal. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
But the most significant factor is the person creating the report. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing real estate in and around Clark County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no vested interest in the value conclusion, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the price of the home.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (Back to top)The main point of an appraisal document is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
Once the appraisal has been completed, how can I have assurance that the value indicated is veritable?(Back to top) 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?(Back to top) Most of the time, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a home involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Clark County or other areas?(Back to top) One of the primary things an appraiser does is to collect data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is gathered from a variety of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have information on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we look at items in the assessor's office and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers often need to report when a property lies 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 gathers general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(Back to top) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value is relevant to a financial decision. When selling your home, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. 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. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Back to top) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional policy protects the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than the balance of 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.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(Back to top) The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. During this process, we will come to your home and measure it, determine the layout of the rooms inside, confirm all aspects of the home's general condition, and take several photos of your house for inclusion in the report. The best thing you can do to help is make sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "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) For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is 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 hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Which home renovations add the most to the price?(Back to top) This really depends on where the home is. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
As a rule, the most value returned 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 weren't far behind, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also boost the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.