FAQs

frequently asked questions

Priority Appraisal, LLC is willing to address any questions you might have about real estate appraisals in Sacramento or Phoenix. Don't hesitate to contact us today.


General questions
FAQ 1
An appraiser performs an estimation that generates an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the appraiser conclude this opinion or valuation. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to replace the improvements to the property, less the depreciation and physical dilapidation, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in finding the value of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with figuring a comparison to comparable homes nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most accurate and clearest indicator of a liklely sales price for a residential property. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is generally used to determine the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.
FAQ 2
An appraiser generates an unprejudiced and well justified determination of market value, often in the context of a real estate sale. Appraisers demonstrate their expert findings in appraisal reports.
FAQ 3
There are a lot of reasons to get an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for purchasing an report include:
  • • If you are applying for a loan.
  • • To lower your tax burden.
  • • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove PMI.
  • • To contest improperly assessed property taxes.
  • • If you need to take care of an estate.
  • • To offer you a leg-up when purchasing real estate.
  • • To figure out a reasonable price when selling real estate.
  • • To defend your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • • Because an official agency such as the IRS requires it.
  • • If you ever find yourself in a civil case.
FAQ 4
Home inspectors do not estimate an opinion of value and do not use the same forms as appraisers. A third-party home inspector will inspect the structure of the property, from the roof to the foundation. The general property inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the integrity of the property's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and accessible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
FAQ 5
Frankly, they have nothing in common. What the CMA relies upon are ill-defined trends. The appraisal depends on similar definite comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, neighborhood and construction costs. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.

But the largest differentiator is the person behind the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not be trained in technical valuation concepts or even have a handle on market trends. A certified, state licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing properties in and around Maricopa County is behind the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat sum for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
FAQ 6
The main objective of an appraisal document is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
  • • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • • The intended use of the appraisal.
  • • The reason for the assignment.
  • • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • • The effective date of the value opinion.
  • • Pertinent property attributes, including: location, physical characteristics, legal attributes, economic attributes, the property rights valued, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible considerations.
  • • Any 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 used to complete the assignment.
For a more comprehensive look at what goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report
FAQ 7
In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
  • • The appraisal contained an apropos analysis of the data.
  • • That significant errors of omission or commission were not committed individually or collectively.
  • • That appraisal services were not rendered in a careless or negligent manner.
  • • That a solid, supportable appraisal report was imparted.
There are intense education and real world experience requirements that must be fulfilled in order to become a licensed appraiser in Arizona and California. Plus, appraisers must obey a stringent industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The tenets for carrying out an appraisal and communicating its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Licensing and certification takes coursework, tests and real world experience. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she must then engage in continuing education courses so the license remains current. To see the specific requirements for click here.
FAQ 8
Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, needing their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
FAQ 9
One of the primary tasks an appraiser engages in is to assimilate property data. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is collected from a many sources. To look up recent sales to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically use the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To verify actual sales prices, we look at tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as ACI Sky™ Flood.

And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other houses in the same market
FAQ 10
PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary plan takes care of the lender in the event a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the house is less than what is owed on the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.

Does your monthly mortgage payment include a fee for PMI?Call Priority Appraisal, LLC today at (480) 788-2488 or send us an e-mail. A current appraisal could save you thousands.
FAQ 11
In real estate appraising, 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."
FAQ 12
It really depends on the market. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes.

As a rule, the most value returned from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. According to one national survey, kitchen remodels returned an average of 88% of the investment. In other words, a $10,000 kitchen remodeling project would add approximately $8,800 to the value of the home. Bathrooms weren't far behind, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also increase the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.
Existing Customers
FAQ 13
In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 certainly entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.

It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these cases, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
New Customers
FAQ 14
Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. When selling your home, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Priority Appraisal, LLC is the best way to ensure assets are split up properly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
FAQ 15
We begin with an inspection of the property. 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. On the home's interior, pick up any clutter and make sure we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
  • • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available).
  • • A list of any personal property that is part of the home and you intend to be sold with the home, such as a oven, or a washer and dryer, if applicable.
  • • Most recent real estate tax bill from Maricopa and or legal description of the property.
  • • A list of any major home improvements and upgrades, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, in the event of a pending sale.
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