Reasons To Get An Appraisal


Every year, countless people in the United States buy, sell or refinance  their own slice of the American Dream.  Most, if not all, of these  transactions include a simple line item for an appraisal.  It has become  an understood and accepted part of a real estate transaction.  "Let's  bring in the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this  property." 

But is this the  only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services  of a certified, licensed, independent real estate professional might  come in handy?  You bet. 

One of the most important issues involved in purchasing a property is  developing an opinion of what it's worth so that you can make an  informed offer to purchase.  A professional appraisal report performed  by a qualified, state-licensed appraiser can provide you with an  objective, third party opinion of a property's current Market Value.   And for the small price of this service, you can give yourself "peace of  mind" prior to making an offer to purchase that you're offering a fair  price for the property.  

If you need to consolidate bills, have a college tuition to pay, or just  want to tap into the equity of your home, you'll need a new loan, which  oftentimes requires a new appraisal of the property.

Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that  many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned is  more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional  payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly  forgotten. This is unfortunate because PMI becomes unnecessary when the  remaining balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or  principal paydown - dips below this 80% level. In fact, the United  States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of  1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the  loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met. 

It's that time of year again property and school taxes are due. Do you  think your property is assess fairly? Not sure, An appraiser can help  where property is involved, the appraiser can help determine the fair  market value of your property. 

A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience for both parties  and is often further complicated by the difficult decision of "Who gets  the house?".  In most divorce cases, the Court won't usually force the  parties involved to "buyout" the other party's interest but it may  however order the sale of the home so each party gets an equal share of  the equity.  Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea to order an  appraisal so both parties are fully aware of what the true market value  is. 

If the parties want to sell the home, they'll  have a better idea of what price to set.  And on the flipside, if a  "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties will feel like they've  gotten a fair assessment.

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in life and settling an  estate from a death, or probate, often requires an appraisal to  establish Fair Market Value for the residential property involved.  The  ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal  Practice (USPAP) binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest  degree of discretion. 

Unlike many  wealthy individuals, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated  estate planners or executors to handle these issues.  Also, in most  cases, a home or other real property makes up a disproportionate share  of the total estate value. 

Here too, an  appraiser can help.  Often the first step in fairly disposing of an  estate is to understand its true value.  Where property is involved, the  appraiser can help determine the true value.  At this point, equitable  arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing parties.  Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal. 

We understand the stress involved with an employee relocation.  We take  great care in establishing a convenient appointment time for the  appraisal inspection. During our thorough inspection, we encourage  relocating employees to provide input on the positive attributes of  their property along with information about any recent sales or listings  in their neighborhood that they want considered. 

Before you decide to sell your home, there are several decisions to be  made. First and foremost: "How much should it sell for?"  But don't  forget there may be other equally important questions to ask yourself  such as "Would it be better to paint the entire house before we sell  it?", "Should I put in that third bathroom?", "Should I complete my  kitchen remodel?"  Many things which we do to our houses have an effect  on their value.  Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect.  While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home, it may not add  nearly enough to the value to justify the expense. 

Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use the assistance  of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can help you make a  better educated decision when determining your selling price. 

Unlike a real  estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the  house sells for.  It's easy for them to step in and give you the  information to help you make your decision.  Appraiser fees are based on  efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales price.  So seeking a professional appraisal can often help homeowners make the  best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales  price.