LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES is always eager to handle any questions you might have about appraisals in Prospect and New Haven County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

What is an appraisal?
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to need services from LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES?
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What are the contents of an appraisal report?
Once the assignment has been completed, how can I have a guarantee that the final number is accurate?
What are the requirements to be a certified appraiser?
Who hires an appraiser?
Where does LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES get the data used to estimate values in New Haven County or other areas?
What can a full appraisal do for me?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
How do I get ready for the appraiser?
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?



What is an appraisal?   (Top)

An appraisal is an estimation leading to an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a several "approaches," typically three, to arrive at the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the processes that appraisers use to find value; it involves discerning what the improvements would cost minus physical deterioration, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with searching for comparable homes in close proximity and discerning value based on comparing those homes to the home being appraised. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most accurate and best indicator of market value for a property. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is generally used to figure the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.

What does an appraiser do?   (Top)

An appraiser provides an unbiased and well supported opinion of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers reveal the details of their professional findings in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to need services from LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES?   (Top)

There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for ordering an appraisal report include:
  • To receive a loan.
  • If you would like to lower your property tax burden.
  • To help a homeowner realize if they owe less than 80% of their home's value and remove Primary Mortgage Insurance.
  • To challenge high property taxes.
  • To handle an estate.
  • To provide you a leg-up when purchasing a home.
  • To determine the most probable property value when putting your home on the market.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS require an appraisal on every home.
  • It's possible you could have to deal with being in a lawsuit - an appraisal will help.
For a more detailed description of the appraisal process click here.


How is an appraiser different than a home inspector?   (Top)

Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and are not appraisers. A third-party home inspector will inspect the structure of the home, from the roof to the bottom. The archetypal house inspector's report will include an evaluation of the integrity of the home's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?   (Top)

Frankly, it's apples and oranges. The CMA uses market trends to conduct most of their business. Appraisals use comparable sales which are verifiable resources. The appraisal report will also contain neighborhood and construction costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.

But the most significant factor is who's creating the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is produce 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 collect only a flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their outcome.

What are the contents of an appraisal report?   (Top)

Every report must reflect a believable value opinion and will document the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • The intended use of the report.
  • The purpose of the appraisal.
  • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.
  • Relevant property attributes, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic attributes, the property rights in question, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible factors.
  • All known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and other items of a similar nature.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • The scope of work considered while working up the appraisal.
For a more detailed look at what goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the assignment has been completed, how can I have a guarantee that the final number is accurate?   (Top)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
  • The appraisal used an appropriate analysis of the data.

  • That crucial errors of omission or commission were not committed individually or collectively.

  • That appraisal services were not rendered in a careless or negligent manner.

  • The final appraisal report was clear, sound and not easily discredited.
To become a state licensed appraiser, we must meet intense education and experience requirements that give us the background to produce an unbiased opinion. In addition, appraisers must obey a strict industry code of ethics and observe national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for developing an appraisal and reporting its results are guaranteed by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (Top) Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers are different from state to state. However, licensing and certification is most often associated with many hours of coursework, tests and real world experience. Once licensed, he/she must then complete continuing education courses so the license stays current. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who hires an appraiser?   (Top)

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requiring their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES get the data used to estimate values in New Haven County or other areas?   (Top)

Compiling information is one of the main things an appraiser engages in. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is collected from a numerous sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To verify actual sales prices, we look at tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other properties in the same market.


What can a full appraisal do for me?   (Top)

An appraisal is a worthwhile anytime your home's value is pertinent to some financial decision. When selling your house, an appraisal assists you in setting the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. 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 protects the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the house is less than the loan balance. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.

The savings from getting rid of your PMI pays for the appraisal in no time. Nobody is more qualified than LIND APPRAISALS AND ASSOCIATES when it comes to analyzing real estate appreciation in Prospect and New Haven County. Contact us today.

How do I get ready for the appraiser?   (Top)

The first step in most appraisals is the home inspection. During this process, we will come to your home and measure it, determine the layout of the rooms inside, confirm all aspects of the home's general condition, and take several photos of your house for inclusion in the report. Inside, pick up any clutter and make sure we can get to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.

You can make things go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if available).
  • Any documents, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and upgrades, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of Energy efficiency upgrades or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • A list of "proposed" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?   (Top)

In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:

"The most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: the buyer and seller are typically motivated; both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests; a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; payment is made in terms of cash in United States dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale."



Who has rights to the appraisal report?   (Top)

For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.

This rule doesn't apply when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?   (Top)

This really depends on where the home is. For example, if you live in a cold region, insulated windows can be a real plus. But they aren't as attractive in a warm-weather climate.

No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.