Frequently Asked Questions
What is an appraisal?
An appraisal is an impartial estimate or opinion of value, of an adequately described property, as of a specific date. An appraisal involves performing sufficient market research that is professionally analyzed to estimate the market value of the property as it relates to other competing properties in the market place. An appraisal represents an independent and impartial analysis of all the relevant data.
What is the role of the appraiser?
The appraiser’s role is to provide objective, impartial and unbiased opinions about the value of real estate. An appraiser provides assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in, or lend money for real estate.
What is market value?
Market value or fair market value is the most probable price that a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.
What does an appraiser look for?
Typically, an appraiser needs to document the condition of the property, both inside and out. The appraiser documents the layout of the property, room count and any updates that have been completed. The appraiser estimates the square footage (gross living area), by measuring the exterior of the property. Non-living areas, such as garages or porches, are not included in the living area, but are accounted for and considered separately. Finished basements are also calculated separately from the above-grade living area and can be influenced by the quality of the finish work as well as other factors The appraiser will generally consider only permanent fixtures and real property. Because many above ground pools and sheds are not permanent structures, they typically aren’t included in the valuation
What information should I have ready for the day of the appraisal?
To assist the appraiser in completing the appraisal assignment it is helpful to have a copy of the deed, a current tax bill, plot plan and a list of any improvements that have been completed on the property.
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
No. An appraiser is not a home inspector, engineer, architect, electrician, plumber, etc. The appraiser walks through the property to get an idea of the general condition of the property. An appraisal is not a guarantee of condition. The appraiser will ask about any visible problems and will do his/her best to gauge any impact on value attributable to those problems. You are encouraged to seek the advice of experts if you have any questions about structural or mechanical problems.
Am I entitled to a copy of the appraisal report?
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, your lender must provide you with a copy of the appraisal report upon your written request. If you would like a copy of the appraisal report or have any questions regarding the appraisal report, you should contact your lender.
Who can order an appraisal?
In some cases a property owner may directly engage the services of an appraiser. Some examples include appraisals for estates, divorce, or to establish an asking price for your home. If an appraisal is to be used for a federally related transaction, such as a refinance or purchase, then the appraiser must be directly engaged by the by the lender or its agent.
What is the fee for an appraisal?
Our appraisal fee depends on the complexity of the assignment and the needs of the client. We would be glad to discuss the appraisal process more with you and quote you a fee after obtaining more information on the property to be appraised.