Albertson-Moss Appraisal Group has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(See list of FAQ's) The method of writing an appraisal report deals with an evaluation which leads to an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is figured using a formal process that typically uses three "common approaches to value". One of them is the Cost Approach - which is how much it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The most common approach in figuring the likely sales price of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns figuring a comparison to similar houses nearby. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is generally the most accurate 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 deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the money generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers document their findings in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would need your services?(See list of FAQ's) There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an report include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (See list of FAQ's)Home inspectors do not come to an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. An inspection is a third-party evaluation of the accessible structure and electrical and mechanical systems of a property, from the top to the foundation. Commonly, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the necessities of the house: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(See list of FAQ's) Frankly, it's like comparing broadband and dial-up. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. The appraisal is based on similar verifiable comparable sales. The appraisal report will also include area and building values. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
The person creating the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or have specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a previously agreed upon sum for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (See list of FAQ's)The main point of an appraisal report is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
Upon completion of the appraisal, how can I have confidence that the final number is legitimate?(See list of FAQ's) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(See list of FAQ's) Most of the time, appraisers are hired by mortgage lenders to render a value opinion on real estate involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the property is indeed adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does Albertson-Moss Appraisal Group get the data used to estimate values in Dallas County or other areas?(See list of FAQ's) Compiling data is one of the main things an appraiser performs. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a number of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other public documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood servers.
And last but not least, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(See list of FAQ's) If you're involved in some sort of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want to hire a licensed appraiser. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out a 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 commissioning an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Albertson-Moss Appraisal Group is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided fairly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(See list of FAQ's) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary policy protects the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is lower than what the borrower still owes 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.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(See list of FAQ's) 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. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can get to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
Define "Market Value"(See list of FAQ's) 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?(See list of FAQ's) In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 included with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
This rule doesn't apply when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. 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 stipulated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(See list of FAQ's) It really depends on the market. 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. 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%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.