Appraisal Services of SC, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(Return to top) An appraisal report is an inspection leading to an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser will typically use a number of "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to restore the improvements to the house, minus depreciation and physical dilapidation, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with searching for comparable homes nearby and figuring out the value based on comparing those properties to the home in question. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best method 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(Return to top) An appraiser offers a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers present their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to need your services?(Return to top) There are many reasons to order an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for getting an report include:
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection? (Return to top)Appraisers do not do provide residential property inspections and are not home inspectors. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from bottom to attic. The stereotypical property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible 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)?(Return to top) Frankly, they share nothing in common. What the CMA relies upon are superficial trends. An appraisal relies on comparable sales that can be validated by public record. Also, the appraisal checks other factors like condition, location and construction prices. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
But the most significant factor is the person behind the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not be trained in technical valuation concepts or even have a handle on market trends. A certified, South Carolina licensed professional who made their livelihood on valuing homes in and around Dorchester County is behind the appraisal. 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 collect only a flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their outcome.
What's in an appraisal report? (Return to top)The main objective of an appraisal report is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
Upon completion of the report, what guarantee is there that the value indicated is valid?(Return to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Return to top) Commonly, appraisers are employed by lenders to render a value opinion on property involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Dorchester County or other areas?(Return to top) Compiling information is one of the primary tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a number of places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood servers.
And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(Return 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 helps you set the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Return to top) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is less than what the borrower still owes on the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(Return to top) We begin with an inspection of the property. 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 status of its amenities. 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 get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can get to 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:
What does "Market Value" mean?(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(Return to top) For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 appraisal - it's usually included 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 engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these cases, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted 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?(Return to top) This really depends on where the home is. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want
As a rule, the best ROI from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. According to one national survey, kitchen remodels returned an average of 88% of the investment. In other words, a $10,000 kitchen remodeling project would add approximately $8,800 to the value of the home. Bathrooms were second, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also boost the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.