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Home Appraisal Frequently Asked Questions 

 

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a professional appraiser's opinion of value. The preparation of an appraisal involves research into appropriate market areas; the assembly and analysis of information pertinent to a property; and the knowledge, experience and professional judgment of the appraiser. The role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial and unbiased opinions about the value of real property - providing assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in and/or lend money on the security of real estate. Read more....

What is done during a home appraisal?

The preparation of an appraisal involves research into appropriate market areas. The property is inspected, measured, and data verified with legal records. Data is assembled with an analysis of other information pertinent to the property, and ultimately combined with the  knowledge, experience and professional judgment of the appraiser to create an informed, unbiased, and highly accurate assessment of your property's value.

 What is the role of an appraiser?

The role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial and unbiased opinions about the value of real property - providing assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in and/or lend money on the security of real estate.

What geographic territories does R.A.S. Associates cover?

R.A.S. Associates conduct certified appraisals in NJ and parts of NY, including Orange, Rockland and Westchester Counties, as well as all five boroughs of New York City.

What is a Real Estate Appraisal Expert Witness?

A real estate appraisal expert witness must provide expert witness court testimony to aid in a quick and successful settlement in all disputed real estate cases. The right appraisal expert witness is integral to achieving a positive outcome. As your expert real estate appraisal witness we will provide a competent, defensible, coherent report, communicating all pertinent financial intricacies to the fact finder. Learn more about our New Jersey and New York real estate expert witness services...

What is the meaning of "Short Sale"? How does a Short Sale Work?

A short sale occurs when a property is sold for less than the amount still owed on its mortgage. In this continuing economic climate of recession, unemployment and a soft real estate market, short sales are becoming more and more common. The short sale process is commonly complicated by a discrepancy between the sale price of the property and the amount at which the property is appraised. This often leads to long waiting periods, excessive paperwork, and, ultimately, unsuccessful sales. A quick and accurate appraisal performed by knowledgeable and experienced appraisers can expedite this process. Short sale property appraisals may be ordered by the lending institution, the buyer, seller, or either party's real estate attorney. Learn more about RAS Associates' short sale property appraisals.....

Will the appraised value of a property vary, depending upon whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller?

The appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal and should render services with independence, objectivity and impartiality.

Are appraisers hired only to estimate real estate property values in property sales involving mortgage-lending transactions?

Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do provide a variety of services, including advice for estate planning,
dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Should market value approximate replacement cost?

Market value is based on what a willing buyer likely would pay a willing seller for a particular property, with neither being under pressure to buy or sell. Replacement cost is the dollar amount required to reconstruct a property in-kind.

Should assessed value equate to market value?

While most states support the concept that assessed value approximate estimated market value, this often is not the case. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvements, or when properties in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an extended period.

Do appraisers use a formula, such as a specific price per square foot, to figure out the value of a home?

Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a home, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable properties in the subject market area.

Since consumers pay for appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance real estate, do own their appraisal?

The appraisal is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "releases its interest" in the document. However, consumers may obtain a copy of the appraisal report from their lender who had ordered the report under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Are appraisers hired only to estimate real estate property values in property sales involving mortgage-lending transactions?

Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do provide a variety of services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review, PMI removal and cost/benefit analysis.

In a robust economy - when the sales prices of homes in a given area are reported to be rising by a particular percentage - can the value of individual properties in the area be expected to appreciate by that same percentage?

Value appreciation of a specific property must be determined on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations. This is true in good times as well as bad.

Do consumers need to be concerned with what is in the appraisal document so long as it satisfies the needs of their lending institution?

Only if consumers read a copy of their appraisal can they double-check its accuracy and question the result. Also, it makes a valuable record for future reference, containing useful and often-revealing information - including the legal and physical description of the property, square footage measurements, list of comparable properties in the neighborhood, neighborhood description and a narrative of current real-estate activity and/or market trends in the vicinity.

Is an Appraisal the same as a home inspection?

An Appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. The Appraiser forms an opinion of value in the Appraisal process and resulting report. A home inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components and reports these findings.

Can you generally tell what a property is worth simply by looking at the outside?

Property value is determined by a number of factors, including location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends.

 

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R.A.S. Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 5064

Parsippany, NJ 07054

 

 

 
 
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