The Young Appraisal Group, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(Back to top) An appraisal is an estimation allowing the appraiser to come to an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is concluded through the use of a formal process that typically utilizes three "common approaches to value". One of them is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, less physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with finding comparable homes in close proximity and figuring out the value based on making a comparison of those properties to the house in question. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most precise and best indicator of market value for a residential property. 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(Back to top) An appraiser provides a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers document their professional findings in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request services from The Young Appraisal Group, Inc.?(Back to top) There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for obtaining an appraisal report include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Back to top)Appraisers do not do provide home inspections and are not home inspectors. A third-party home inspector will investigate the structure of the house, from the top to the bottom. Usually, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the requirements of the home: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical systems, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, visible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(Back to top) Frankly, it's like comparing Shakespeare to reality TV. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. Location and building values are also a priority in an appraisal. 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 who's doing the report. A CMA is written 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, state licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing homes in and around Salt Lake County is behind the appraisal. 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 flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
What's in an appraisal report? (Back to top)Each appraisal must demonstrate a believable estimate of value and will document the following:
Once the appraisal has been completed, how can I have assurance that the final number is legitimate?(Back to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who do appraisers work for?(Back to top) Commonly, appraisers are employed by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does The Young Appraisal Group, Inc. get the data used to estimate values in Salt Lake County or other areas?(Back to top) One of the primary activities of an appraiser is to compile data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a many places. To research recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we use tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers often have to report when a property is 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 assimilates 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?(Back to top) An appraisal is a valuable tool anytime your home's value is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out 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. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from The Young Appraisal Group, Inc. is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided evenly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making smart financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Back to top) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary plan covers the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the house is less than what is owed on 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Back to top) The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. During this process, the appraiser 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. 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 relocate any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can easily access 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"?(Back to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(Back 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 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 cases, the appraiser may define 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.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Back to top) The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local market. For example, putting in an inline humidifier could be nice in arid regions, but completely useless near the coast!
As a rule, the best ROI 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 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.