Skylight Evaluations has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "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 helps the appraiser come to this opinion or estimate. The Cost Approach is one of the processes that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a home; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost without physical deterioration, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in finding the likely sales price of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns concluding a comparison to comparable properties nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is commonly the most accurate and best indicator of a liklely sales price for a residential property. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is of most importance in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the money generated by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser produces a professional, unbiased determination of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers summarize their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons I would request services from Skylight Evaluations?(List of questions) There are many reasons to order an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for obtaining an report include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (List of questions)The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a complete home inspection. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the property from basement to rooftop. Commonly, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the necessities of the house: 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 other visible structures.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(List of questions) Simply put, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. Appraisals use comparable sales which are verifiable resources. The appraisal report will also contain neighborhood and building prices. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
Who's creating the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. 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 makes a living out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a previously agreed upon fee for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (List of questions)The main purpose 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, one will customarily see the following:
Upon completion of the appraisal, what guarantee is there that the value indicated is legitimate?(List of questions) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(List of questions) Typically, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to render a value opinion on a house involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Dekalb County or other areas?(List of questions) Compiling information is one of the main things an appraiser engages in. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a numerous places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we research items in the assessor's office and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers often need to report when a property lies 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 past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(List of questions) An appraisal is a worthwhile anytime your home's value is relevant to some financial decision. If you're selling your house, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Skylight Evaluations 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?(List of questions) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It covers the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than the balance of 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. 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 access things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, 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 certainly entitled to a copy of the appraisal - 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.
It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these cases, 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 use the appraisal for any purpose.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(List of questions) A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
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 weren't far behind, yielding 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.