Wasley and Associates has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(List of questions) The procedure of writing an appraisal consists of an investigation which leads to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the real estate appraiser arrive at this opinion or valuation. The Cost Approach is one of the approaches that appraisers use to find the value of a property; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost minus physical deterioration, adding the land value. The most common approach in figuring the value of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with making a comparison to comparable homes nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most accurate and best indicator of value for a house. The Income Approach is generally used for figuring out the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of income a property produce.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser forumlates an unbiased and well supported determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers exhibit their expert investigation in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?(List of questions) There are a lot of reasons to obtain an appraisal from Wasley and Associates with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for obtaining an appraisal include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? (List of questions)Appraisers do not do provide house inspections and are not home inspectors. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the livable structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the bottom. Commonly, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the requirements of the home: 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, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(List of questions) To be honest, they share nothing in common. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. Appraisals use comparable sales which are valid resources. Location and architectural prices are also important in an appraisal. 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.
But the biggest difference is who's creating the report. 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. A certified, state licensed professional who made their livelihood on valuing real estate in and around Marin County is behind the appraisal. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no vested interest in the property's value, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the price of the home.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (List of questions)Every report must demonstrate a believable estimate of value and will clearly state the following:
Once the report is done, what guarantee is there that the final number is veritable?(List of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who employs appraisers?(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical client, needing their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does Wasley and Associates get the data used to estimate values in Marin County or other areas?(List of questions) One of the main activities of an appraiser is to collect data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a numerous places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have information on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers often need to report when a property is in a flood zone, and that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And most importantly, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(List of questions) If you're making any kind 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 determine a price that gets you the most profit but doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Wasley and Associates is the best way to ensure assets are split up fairly. A house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making informed financial decisions.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(List of questions) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional plan guards the lender in case a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the house is less than what is owed on the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(List of questions) The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. During this process, the appraiser 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. On the outside, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.
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?(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(List of questions) 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 appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled 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 cases, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Which home renovations add the most to the price?(List of questions) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, if you live in a cold region, insulated windows can be a real plus. But they aren't as attractive in a warm-weather climate.
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 are right up there with kitchens, returning 85%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.