Many home owners that have an appraisal done on their house have questions for the appraiser. Here are the top 5 questions home owners usually call my office to ask about.
[size=18:bf7b9b5cce]Top 5 most asked appraisal questions by home owners[/size:bf7b9b5cce]
[list:bf7b9b5cce] Q: [b:bf7b9b5cce]Can I get a copy of the appraisal?[/b:bf7b9b5cce]
A: Yes! The lender should provide you a copy of the appraisal report. Whoever is named on the appraisal as the "Client" is the only person the appraiser is allowed to share or discuss the appraisal with, regardless of who pays for the appraisal. The lender is required by law to provide the homeowner with a copy of the appraisal.
Q. [b:bf7b9b5cce]My neighbor has their home for sale for $XXX,XXX, why didn't you consider that?[/b:bf7b9b5cce]
A. There is a difference between active/pending listings and actual closed sales. Anyone can list a property for sale at whatever price they would like for it but that doesn't mean a typical buyer would pay that price. The appraiser's primary goal is to determine what a typical buyer under normal market conditions would pay for a property. If there is one sale in the neighborhood that sold for 50k over all other sales in the area and there are no noticeable differences, that home is outside of the typical price buyers in the neighborhood would pay and will likely not be used. If all the homes listed for sale are 30k over what all sold sales in the area show, the appraiser does not have evidence a buyer is willing to pay that higher price. The appraiser should use provable facts (closed sales) and not speculate on the market. This rule is broken when values are on a decline. If all closed sales are around 200k, but active listings are 150k the appraiser will consider these active listings heavily because of the substitution factor. Would use buy a new car for 50k when there are 20 other nearly identical cars in the same lot for 35k?
Q. [b:bf7b9b5cce]The appraisal only took 20 minutes, why am I charged so much?[/b:bf7b9b5cce]
A. This is a question appraisers get asked a lot when at the property. The truth is appraisal fees have barely gone up over the past 10 years, far under inflation, the amount of work required by the appraiser has gone up with more liability and competition. The inspection process is a small percentage of the whole appraisal scope of work. I won't go into details, but the remainder of the work includes a lot of data collection, analysis, comparable selection, adjustments, drive time and of course writing the report on the appraiser's findings.
Q. [b:bf7b9b5cce]Will my enclosed patio/converted carport/addition be included in the livable SqFt?[/b:bf7b9b5cce]
A. The appraiser will look for two things. What a permit taken (recorded with the assessor) and does it meet minimal requirements? You should check with the assessor if you do not know the answer. Min. requirements usually include the following; has heating/cooling, is level with the main livable SqFt, has flooring and has electrical and is connected to the main house with access from inside the home.
Q. [b:bf7b9b5cce]What improvements will increase the value of my house?[/b:bf7b9b5cce]
A. This is a tricky question that depends on the neighborhood. Most typically bathroom and kitchen improvements draw the best return on investment but they are both the most expensive to do. Smaller improvements that can help raise the value are paint & lighting fixtures. Be very careful not over improve the property. If 95% of the homes in the area have laminate flooring, installing marble flooring will be an over improvement for the neighborhood and the ROI will go down.[/list:u:bf7b9b5cce]
Remember, every local market is different! You should speak with a professional in your local market for answers specific to your regional area.