E.A Homer & Associates has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Back to top) The appraisal process is an evaluation that generates an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser must use a few "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, less the depreciation and physical deterioration, adding the land value. The most common approach in figuring the likely sales price of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns concluding a comparison to comparable houses nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most accurate and best indicator of value for a residence. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to find the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.
Describe what an appraiser does(Back to top) An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers show their expert analysis in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons I would need your services?(Back to top) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for obtaining an report include:
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection? (Back to top)Home inspectors do not provide an opinion of value and are not appraisers. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from foundation to top. The usual house inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the integrity of the house's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and accessible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Back to top) Simply put, it's like comparing Shakespeare to reality TV. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. The appraisal is reliant on specific proven comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, area and construction costs. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
The person behind the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is written by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no conditional interest in the value conclusion, unlike the agent, who gets a commission based upon the value of the home.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (Back to top)Every report must indicate a credible value opinion and should document the following:
Once the appraisal has been completed, how can I have a guarantee that the value indicated is accurate?(Back to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who hires E.A Homer & Associates(Back to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, requesting their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does E.A Homer & Associates get the data used to estimate values in Denver County or other areas?(Back to top) Gathering data is one of the main things an appraiser engages in. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are gathered by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a variety of places. To research recent sales to be used as "comps", we often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To verify actual sales prices, we use items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers often have 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 last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(Back to top) Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. If you're selling your home, an appraisal assists you in setting a price that maximizes profit and reduces time on the market. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making informed financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Back to top) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI takes care of the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the property is less than the loan balance. 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Back to top) The first step in most appraisals is the home 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. 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 the appraiser can easily access appliances 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:
Define "Market Value"(Back 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?(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 report - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may define how the appraisal can be used; 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?(Back to top) The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local market. For example, putting in an inline humidifier could be nice in arid regions, but completely useless near the coast!
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. 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 weren't far behind, yielding 85%. On the contrary, something that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.