P&S Appraisals, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(Back to top) The procedure of writing an appraisal report deals with an evaluation which forms an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is concluded through the use of a formal method that typically utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". One of them is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with finding similar properties in close proximity and figuring out the value based on comparing those prior sales to the home in question. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a house. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to figure the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Back to top) An appraiser provides a fair and credible opinion of market value, in the support of real estate transactions. Appraisers document their investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons I would request a real estate appraisal?(Back to top) There are many reasons to get an appraisal from P&S Appraisals, Inc. with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for getting an appraisal report include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Back to top)Home inspectors do not produce an opinion of value and are not appraisers. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from bottom to rooftop. The general property inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the condition of the home'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.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(Back to top) To be honest, they share nothing in common. The CMA utilizes market trends to generate most of their business. The appraisal relies on similar verifiable comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, location and construction prices. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
The credentials of the person behind the report is hands down the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. A certified, Massachusetts licensed professional who made a career on valuing homes in and around Bristol County is behind the appraisal. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the value of the home.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (Back to top)The main objective of an appraisal report 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 assignment has been completed, how can I have assurance that the value indicated is veritable?(Back to top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who employs appraisers?(Back to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requesting 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 retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does P&S Appraisals, Inc. get the information used to estimate values in Bristol County or other areas?(Back to top) Compiling information is one of the primary tasks an appraiser does. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a many places. To look up recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically go to the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public 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 properties in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(Back to top) An appraisal is a worthwhile 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 doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from P&S Appraisals, Inc. is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up evenly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value means you can make smart financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Back to top) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI guards the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the property is less than the loan balance. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Back to top) We begin with an inspection of the property. 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 relocate any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure we can easily access items 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:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(Back to top) 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 engaging 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 noted otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(Back to top) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. 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%. 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.