Frequently Asked Questions

Why Might I need an Appraiser?

A person might need an appraiser for a number of reasons. Sometimes a person may wish to put their home up for sale but do not trust the realtor or may not be ready for a realtor and may seek an independent valuation of their property first from a licensed and/or Certified appraiser. Sometimes a person(s) may be a tenant or renter of a home and they may wish to buy it from the owner. They may seek an appraisal of the home to get a valuation in order to negotiate with the homeowner and also to see if they can afford it. There may be a time when the owner wishes to lower his property tax assessment and may seek an appraisal of his or her property in order to lower his annual property tax amount. When the property owner passes away, sometimes an accountant or attorney may instruct the heirs of the property (sometimes the trustee) to get an appraisal done as of the date of death of that person, in order to establish a valuation basis for the property as of that time (the date of death). Banks and/or lending institutions may order an appraisal on a property to establish the valuation for a loan and/or for refinance purposes.

What will my appraisal report contain?

A typical report will contain general information regarding the neighborhood (proximity to supporting services) and current market conditions as well as specific items involving the property (i.e. lot size, gross living area, bedrooms, bathrooms, year built, and condition). It will also have a sketch of the property, showing where the rooms are located as well as other features (i.e.pool, spa,cov.patio) and structures (garages, workshop, guesthouse, etc.). The sketch is usually based upon a physical measurement of the property during the appraisal inspection. The report also contains photographs of the home (both inside and out) and comparable sales used in the report. The report contains information and/or characteristics from other sales comparables (including listing or pending sales) that are then compared to the information and characteristics of the subject property in order to provide an indicated value of the subject property for each comparable sale used. Sales comparables are then analyzed. Most weight is generally given to those sales comparables with similar characteristics to the subject property such as similar size, condition, and/or amenities. After careful analysis of the sales comparables, a final valuation of the property is provided. Finally, a report should contain an appraiser certification page or pages indicating that the appraiser did in fact inspect the property and has no financial interest in the property. Among other things, the certification should state that the appraiser has no bias with respect to the property that is the subject of the report and no personal interest with respect to the parties involved

Where do appraisers get the information necessary to give fair valuations?

I subscribe to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in addition to researching local public records and other credible online data sources. The MLS generally provides the most useful information on the details of the property. These will include items such as if the property has been remodeled or is a “fixer”. Also, if it has a pool, spa, guesthouse, view, etc. It usually provides pictures of the property listed and the phone number of the broker involved. This is the source that realtors use. Public records generally provide a plat map, the subject property location, zoning, flood map information, taxes, a legal description, lot size, year built, bedrooms, bathrooms, gross living area, last transfer date, and sales amount of the property as well as the sales history.

As an agent, how should I prepare for our appointment?

Prior to meeting the appraiser, make sure there are no safety hazards. An appraiser will typically note in the appraisal report if there are any bedroom windows with safety bars without a release lever, empty pools/spas, exposed electrical wiring, exposed subflooring, chipping paint, water damage, holes in the walls, etc. Once noted in the report, lenders typically require that these items be repaired prior to the close of escrow. This usually means that the appraiser has to come back out, take a picture of the repair, and submit an additional report. This takes time and holds up escrow.

How long will you be in my home?

The inspection takes about an hour for a typical home. This includes measuring the exterior, taking notes, and photographs.

Who owns the appraisal report?

Generally, the person who pays for the report owns it. This is usually the client. This could be a homeowner, heir, trustee, tenant, or a bank and/or financial institution. Also, note in order to send a copy to another party, the appraiser must get authorization from the client and/or owner of the report.

Why choose Stonebridge Appraisal to complete your appraisal report?

I believe that I have the experience, knowledge, and integrity to provide a reliable and credible real estate appraisal report to my clients. I started as a real estate appraiser trainee in 2009. In 2013 I became a state-certified residential appraiser. I have experience appraising single-family residences, multi-family dwellings, large tracts of vacant land, custom-built new construction homes, and commercial properties. I have appraised high-end custom-built homes in wealthy locations as well as properties in low-income areas. I pride myself on completing a credible appraisal report with a quick turn-around time, so that the client can have the information they need to make the best decision regarding their property. I take the time to adequately interview my clients to see what their needs are and what it is they are trying to accomplish by employing me as their appraiser.