Brett E. Patron & Associates has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Return to top) The appraisal process is an estimation that generates an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a number of "approaches," typically three, to arrive at the estimation of market value. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to replace the improvements to the house, less the age and physical deterioration, adding the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves searching for comparable properties in close proximity and finding value based on making a comparison of those prior sales to the property being appraised. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most definitive and clearest indicator of value for a home. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to find the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.
What does an appraiser do?(Return to top) An appraiser produces a fair and credible assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers present their expert conclusions in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to need a real estate appraisal?(Return to top) There are a lot of reasons to order an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for obtaining an appraisal report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Return to top) Simply, they share nothing in common. The CMA uses market trends to conduct most of their business. The appraisal depends on similar proven comparable sales. Location and construction values are also a priority in an appraisal. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
The person behind the report is actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents produce 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 flat fee for assignments, regardless of their outcome.
What does the appraisal report contain? (Return to top)The main point of an appraisal report is to provide a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
Once the assignment has been completed, how can I have certainty that the final number is accurate?(Return to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who employs appraisers?(Return to top) Typically, appraisers are called upon by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the real estate is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does Brett E. Patron & Associates get the information used to estimate values in Jefferson County or other areas?(Return to top) Collecting information is one of the main things an appraiser performs. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is gathered from a variety of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(Return to top) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value is relevant to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine 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. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Brett E. Patron & Associates is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided fairly. 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 stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender if a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the home is lower 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.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(Return 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. Is there anything you can do to help? Yes there is! First, be sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can get to items like furnaces and water heaters.
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?(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(Return to top) For mortgage transactions, the lender requests 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 appraisal - 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.
This rule doesn't apply 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 do whatever they want with the appraisal.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(Return to top) This really depends on where the home is. 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 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 weren't far behind, yielding 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.