C.C.S Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(Return to top) The appraisal process is an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser must use a number of "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, less the age and physical deterioration, adding the land value. The most common approach in figuring the value of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which involves making a comparison to comparable houses nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is commonly the most definitive and clearest indicator of a liklely sales price for a residential property. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is commonly used to determine the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.
Describe what an appraiser does(Return to top) An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate purchase. Appraisers illustate their analysis in appraisal reports.
Why would a person need a real estate appraisal?(Return to top) There are a lot of reasons to get an appraisal from C.C.S Appraisals with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an appraisal report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? (Return to top)Home inspectors do not produce an opinion of value and are not appraisers. A third-party home inspector will investigate the structure of the property, from the roof to the bottom. The usual home inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the house's heating system, 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.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(Return to top) Frankly, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. What the CMA depends on are vague trends. The appraisal is based on similar valid comparable sales. The appraisal report will also include area and construction costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the most significant factor is who's behind the report. Real estate agents produce CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a previously agreed upon sum for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (Return to top)Each report should reflect a supported value opinion and must identify the following:
Once the assignment has been completed, what guarantee is there that the final number is veritable?(Return to top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Return to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requiring their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does C.C.S Appraisals get the data used to estimate values in Washtenaw County or other areas?(Return to top) Gathering information is one of the primary roles of an appraiser. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a many places. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", we often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we look at tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other properties in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(Return to top) If you're involved in any kind of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want an appraisal. 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. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from C.C.S Appraisals is the best way to ensure assets are divided fairly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Return to top) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added policy guards the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the home is less than the balance of the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(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. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any landscaping 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?(Return 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?(Return to top) In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. While the buyer pays for the report as part of the closing costs, the lender retains the right to use the report or any information contained within. The buyer is certainly 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 stipulated 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?(Return to top) The answer to this is different depending upon the location of the home. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
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 increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.