Real Estate Appraisals
Real estate appraisals are not just for buying and selling real estate. They are useful with estates, removing private mortgage insurance, tax assessment challenges, divorces and many other things. An experienced appraiser can be a significant asset throughout a real estate transaction, divorce proceeding or when settling an estate. Having a professional, impartial opinion of value on a piece of property completed by an expert in the field is often critical to successfully avoiding or resolving an issue.
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Expert real estate appraisers are a game changer...
When to Get a Home Appraisal
Appraisals are often required for many things other than the sale or refinance of a home. A professionally prepared appraisal is an integral part of estate planning and settlement, divorces, removing mortgage insurance premiums, challenging tax assessments, planning for updates and additions on homes…and more. Home sellers that want to work without agents will benefit tremendously from an appraisal. Home buyers that want an impartial second opinion will also find an appraisal to be a tremendous benefit, this is especially true for cash buyers.
Appraisals can be prepared to reflect today’s market, be retroactive to a point in the past or even look ahead to forecast how the market should act based upon recent trends. They serve a variety of different roles depending on the circumstances. An appraisal prepared by a licensed appraiser is often the only valuation instrument accepted by the courts, lenders and municipalities. While some consider “broker price opinions” (BPOs) similar to an appraisal, they are nothing alike in terms of research, depth of analysis and accuracy.
When to Get a Home Appraisal
Appraisers Provide an Independent Opinion of Market Value
Establishing an accurate list price for a home, is THE most important factor in a real estate transaction. A competent agent should be able to complete thorough research; unfortunately probably fewer than 5% can. Typically, agents provide a “comparative market analysis (CMA)” which is a summary of what is currently on the market and what has recently sold. This is not an appraisal, and most agents have little understanding of how to accurately select comparable sales. Many inadvertently mislead sellers; relying on homes they believe to be comparable but are not. Mistakes include using homes that closed too long ago, are in different market areas, are not functionally equivalent or differ in quality and price point.
A prelisting appraisal can serve to ensure that the list price is data supported and not “fantasy priced”. Home buyers have significant assets on line; they can scroll listings, see estimated list prices and avoid overpriced homes. If buyers don’t come through the door, the home doesn’t sell. Homes with a history of reductions develop a stigma; “why hasn’t it sold”? This question is also asked when the bank appraiser comes out for the mortgage; a history of price reductions and a long listing period attracts unwanted attention at every level.
Should Home Sellers Get a Prelisting Appraisal?
Hire an Appraiser as a Consultant
Agents constantly complain about “appraisers blowing deals” when the appraised value does not meet the contract price. No appraiser wants to “kill” a deal, but the data and underwriting process must be adhered to. With an FHA loan, if a home appraises below the sales price, the case number and appraised value remains with the home for up to six months and cannot be challenged – even with a new lender. This can be catastrophic for sellers.
Having a certified appraiser complete a prelisting report, meet the appraiser on site and provide them with appropriate date in the exact format required…can often eliminate issues. This isn’t something most agents can effectively do.
Divorces and estates can be complicated affairs if disagreements develop. Having an experienced appraiser not only prepare a report but be ready to defend it, explain the logic and even challenge an opposing position is common. Court time as an expert witness to explain and detail the logic behind an appraisal and associated findings can be a game changer.
Appraisers also play a role in new home construction. What better source is there to compare the build to the local market? As homes are built, changes are inevitable and often additions are made. Having an appraiser as part of the team to ensure that the market will support the changes just makes good business sense.
Hire an Appraiser as a Consultant
Advantages for Home Buyers as Well
Home buyers can easily become frustrated in a competitive market and get caught up in unwise bidding wars or make rash decisions. Home buyer regret is not uncommon in fast moving markets and that can lead to financial trouble in addition to emotional aggrivation. Sage advice from an agent may be missing and some buyers can overpay or buy the wrong home.
Buyers with a mortgage will have a lender appraisal, but what if an appraisal was completed right at the start? If value problems are noted before all of the mortgage fees are paid, the contract can be terminated during due diligence. This could not only save a buyer from the wrong home but save several hundred or even thousands of dollars.
Additionally, an appraisal during due diligence can identify deficiencies, deferred maintenance, functional and external obsolescence and market trends. No buyer wants to realize that a major mistake was made after closing; an appraisal can identify issues before and provide a way out of a potential financial disaster.
And cash buyers…why not get an appraisal as an impartial second opinion? A smart agent will always reserve the right for an appraisal, this can justify the purchase or raise the value flag that allows for termination. The benefits of an impartial opinion of value cannot be overstated.
How an Appraiser Analyzes Data
Hank Miller's Credentials
Hank Miller, SRA has been working in real estate full time since leaving the military in 1989, he is both an active certified appraiser and associate real estate broker. Hank established and operated large residential appraisal firms in both NY and GA; mentoring and working with his appraisers over the years. He served several years as the SE senior review appraiser for a private lender; responsible for approving appraisers, reviewing reports and maintaining quality control in several states where loans were made.
Hank’s candor, attention to detail and transparency are the result of tens of thousands of appraisals and hundreds of sales transactions. He completes all types of appraisal assignments, expert witness work and review appraisals. Hank is also in sales with his wife Mary, their sales clients appreciate and benefit from his “data first” approach which is diametrically opposed to the how the majority of agents operate. As his Zillow reviews demonstrate, Hank recognizes the responsibility he has to each and every client.See Hank's Credentials
Questions about real estate appraisals? Give Hank a call today or fill out the form below.
Here's What Hank's Clients Have to Say...View Hank’s Zillow Reviews
Hank Miller is hands down, the best agent we have ever worked with (and we’ve worked with many over the years). Not only were we looking for our next house, but we were moving from NY to Georgia with school aged kids. Therefore, we needed an agent who could quickly help educate us on neighborhoods that fit our needs/wants, be flexible and responsive to visiting GA on a moment’s notice to house hunt, and be our eyes and ears on the ground while we were still in NY. We are so thankful and appreciative of his efforts, honesty and knowledge of everything real estate. You won’t find a harder working, more knowledgeable agent that you’ll actually enjoy working with.
Hank did an excellent job for us in buying our new home in Milton, GA. Having been in the real estate industry for over 35 years, I can honestly say that Hank is the best residential real estate professional I have ever worked with. I would recommend him to others without reservation. He has excellent communication skills and market knowledge. Being new to the area, I came to rely heavily on his advice and guidance thoughout the purchase process. His post closing followup was superb.
I worked with Hank on buying a house in a small targeted area. Hank was very patient and professional. His appraisal “lense” and background was critical when we focused our search on several specific properties. I was so impressed with his skills we also used him for the sale of our current house. He and his team did a fantastic job marketing and supporting the negotiations of the sale. He is one of the best agents I have worked with and would definitely work with him in the future.
We thought hank was the best real estate agent that we’ve worked with. His approach of “full disclosure” was unlike anything we’ve seen, at no point did he push to just complete a sale. We were very pleased with his methodical approach to isolating the homes that worked for us. He is very conservative – almost negative – when he walks a home. As he said, he is looking for potential issues that we might miss. We knew that when Hank said “this is a good one” that is was both in terms of price and appeal. We have no reservations about the home that we sold or the new one that we’ve purchased. Hank is a fantastic and conscientious agent.