Jim Kersey Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(List of questions) An appraisal report is an investigation that concludes with an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the real estate appraiser arrive at this opinion or valuation. One of them is the Cost Approach - which is how much it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which involves making a comparison to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most accurate and best indicator of market value for a home. 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 would bring in.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser provides an unprejudiced and well justified assessment of market value, in the support of real property exchanges. Appraisers present their expert investigation in appraisal reports.
Why would someone request services from Jim Kersey Appraisals?(List of questions) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from Jim Kersey Appraisals with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for ordering an report include:
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection? (List of questions)Appraisers do not do provide home inspections and are not home inspectors. The purpose of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the home from basement to attic. Commonly, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the requirements of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical functions, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(List of questions) To be blunt, it's like comparing Shakespeare to reality TV. The CMA relies on vague trends in the market. The appraisal relies on similar valid comparable sales. The appraisal report will also include area and building costs. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
Who's creating the report is hands down the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, write CMA's. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat fee for assignments, regardless of their outcome.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (List of questions)Each report should indicate a supported estimate of value and will identify the following:
Once the assignment has been delivered, how can I have assurance that the value conclusion is accurate?(List of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical customer, requiring their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does Jim Kersey Appraisals get the data used to estimate values in Richland County or other areas?(List of questions) Collecting information is one of the primary occupations of an appraiser. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a variety of sources. To research recently sold homes to be used as "comps", we typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, so 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 properties in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(List of questions) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value is pertinent to some financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out 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 those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Jim Kersey Appraisals is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided properly. 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?(List of questions) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI covers the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the property is lower than what is owed on the loan. 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.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(List of questions) The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general condition of its features. 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 . Trim any shrubs and move any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure the appraiser can get to items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(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 certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled 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 situations, the appraiser may stipulate 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.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(List of questions) It really depends on the market. For example, installing 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 are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also increase the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.