Q: How long does the inspection take? A: Depending on the size of your property, the actual physical inspection can take anywhere from 1/2 hour to several hours .
Q: How soon can I expect to receive my report? A: A regular appraisal is usually returned 2-5 days after inspection. A complex property such as waterfront properties, properties with extensive GLA (gross living area) and large acreage properties generally require more research and can take somewhat longer.
Q: How is the value of my property determined? A: Value is determined by utilizing comparable sales within your market area in the past 6 to 12 month period. The size and condition of your property, upgrades, lot size and quality of construction are all taken into consideration in valuing your property. The appraiser chooses similar sales in your marketing area and "compares" your property to those sales to determine the value.
Q: Can I use my appraisal report to get financing from a lender? A: You would need to check with your lender to see if they would allow the appraisal to be used in a financing transaction. Generally, they will accept it if the appraiser is approved through them. If you ordered the appraisal originally, there may be some addtional information and/or possibly a change in forms to be accepted by the lender.
Q: What is PMI and how can I get rid of it? A: PMI (Private Mortage Insurance) protects the lender if you default on your mortgage payments and your house isn't worth enough to entirely repay the lender through a foreclosure sale. Lenders often require PMI for loans where the down payment is less than 20%. They add the cost to your mortgage payment each month. PMI can usually be canceled after your home's value has risen enough to give you 20 to 25% equity in your house. An appraisal will usually be ordered by the lender to determine the current value.
Q: How do I get ready for an appraisal inspection? A: Having a copy of your deed and plat would be helpful to the appraiser. The home should be neat and all rooms and closets accessible to expedite the walk-through. Any small/minor repairs should be made. Exterior property should be free of obstructions, animal residue, toys, etc.
Q: Why does the appraiser need to come inside my house? A: Most lenders require interior photos and sketches of the property. Having access to the interior gives the appraiser a better determination of the condition, improvements and upgrades to the property and allows for a more accurate determination of value.
Q: What is a "Comparable Sale" A: A comparable sale is a recently settled sale within the subject's marketing area that is considered similar to the subject property in condition, size, style, age and amenities.
Q: Is an appraisal the same thing as a home inspection? A: No. An appraisal is an opinion of value form by an educated and trained professional, based on market activity. A home inspector makes a report of the condition of the home and it's major components.
Q: Where does an appraiser get the information needed to complete an appraisal? A: Most information comes from multiple listing services and public tax records. In some instances, court records may be utilized.
Q: What is the difference between an appraisal and a "Broker's Price Opinion (BPO)"? A: An appraisal is an opinion of value, determined by a licensed and/or certified appraiser, after the physical inspection of a property and supported by the research and analysis of market data. A Broker Price Opinion is an estimate of market value based on market data of comparable properties sold in the immediate and/or nearby area and usually done by a real estate agent or broker. Generally no physical inspection is performed.
Q: What does highest and best use mean? A: "Highest and Best Use" is that use which at the time of an appraisal is most likely to produce the greatest net return to the land and/or buildings over a given period of time.
Q: What improvements add the most value to my home? A: Upgraded kitchen and baths, adding additional living area to your home, maintenance free exteriors (windows and siding), and landscaping (curb appeal) all add value to your home.
Q: Do you accept credit cards? A? Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to accept credit cards, however, we are looking into that option in the near future.
Q: Can I get a copy of my appraisal? A: The appraiser's "client" is the person or organization ordering the appraisal. If the appraisal is ordered by a lending institution, the appraiser is obligated to return the written report to his/her "client", however, you can request a copy of your report from the lender. The lender can also send written permission to the appraiser to have a copy forwarded to you.
Q: The appraiser was only in my property for 1/2 hour...why does the appraisal cost $$$ ? A: The actual physical inspection is the least time consuming part of the entire appraisal process. Several hours of research are required before and after the inspection, before the report can be completed. Generally an appraisal report takes several days after the inspection to complete.