Bedinotti Associates, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(Top) An appraiser performs an evaluation that produces an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is arrived at through a formal method that usually utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, minus depreciation and physical dilapidation, adding the land value. Another of the processes is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns finding a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most definitive and best indicator of value for a residence. The Income Approach is primarily used for figuring out the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of capital a property would bring in.
Describe what an appraiser does(Top) An appraiser provides a fair and credible opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers demonstrate their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
Why would someone require services from Bedinotti Associates, Inc.?(Top) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from Bedinotti Associates, Inc. with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Top) To be honest, they have nothing in common. The CMA uses market trends to create most of their business. An appraisal relies on comparable sales that can be verified by records. The appraisal report will also contain neighborhood and building costs. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
Who's behind the report is hands down the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. 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. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
After completing the report, how can I have assurance that the final number is valid?(Top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who do appraisers work for?(Top) Commonly, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a house involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the house is indeed adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Albany County or other areas?(Top) One of the primary tasks an appraiser must accomplish is to assimilate data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is received from a many places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers routinely 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 most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other houses in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(Top) An appraisal is a worthwhile whenever your home's value is relevant to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine the price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Top) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. It takes care of the lender if a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the property is lower than the loan balance. 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.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(Top) The first step in most appraisals is the home inspection. 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 condition of its features. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have 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 the appraiser can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
To help speed things along as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
Define "Market Value"(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?(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 appraisal - 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 hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, the appraiser may stipulate the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Top) The answer to this is different depending upon the location of the home. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.
As a rule, the most value returned 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 weren't far behind, yielding 85%. On the contrary, work that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.