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Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com is always ready to elaborate on any inquiries you might have about appraisals in Tarrant County. Contact us today to see how we can help solve your valuation problems.

Define the term "Appraisal"
What does an appraiser do?
Why would I require a real estate appraisal?
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report?
Once the assignment has been completed, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is veritable?
What are the requirements to be a certified appraiser?
Who do appraisers work for?
Where does Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com get the information used to estimate values in Tarrant County or other areas?
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal inspection
What does "Market Value" mean?
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?



Define the term "Appraisal"   (Top)

The appraisal process is an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is concluded through the use of a formal process that generally utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". The Cost Approach is one of the processes that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a property; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost minus physical degradation, plus the land value. Another of the processes is the Sales Comparison Approach - which involves discovering a comparison to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a residential property. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is generally used to determine the market 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 offers an impartial and well justified determination of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers exhibit their professional analysis in appraisal reports.


Why would I require a real estate appraisal?   (Top)

There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for getting an appraisal include:
  • If you are applying for a loan.
  • To lower your tax burden.
  • To show a homeowner has 30% equity and remove insurance.
  • To challenge inflated property taxes.
  • To handle an estate.
  • To provide you an edge when purchasing a home.
  • To determine the most probable price when putting your home on the market.
  • To protect your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS need an appraisal on every house.
  • If you ever find yourself in a civil case.
If you need a more detailed explanation of the appraisal process, please click here.


How is an appraisal different than a home inspection?   (Top)

The appraiser is not a home inspector and he or she does not do a complete home inspection. The point of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the home from basement to rooftop. The stereotypical property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the integrity of the home'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.

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

Frankly, they have nothing in common. The CMA uses market trends to generate most of their business. Appraisals use similar sales which are verifiable resources. Area and architectural prices are also important in an appraisal. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.

The person behind the report is frankly the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, Texas licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing real estate in and around Tarrant County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent party, with no conditional interest in the value of a home, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.

What can I expect to see in my appraisal report?   (Top)

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, one will customarily see the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The purpose of the assignment.
  • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • The effective date of the value opinion.(Sometimes this is in the past or maybe the future for new construction!)
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical characteristics, legal attributes, economic factors, the real property interest valued, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, trade fixtures and even intangible items.
  • All known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and the like.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • The scope of work used when completing the assignment.
For a more detailed view of all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the assignment has been completed, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is veritable?   (Top)

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
  • That the information analysis utilized in the appraisal was suitable.

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

  • That appraisal services were not executed in a careless or negligent fashion.

  • The final appraisal report was transparent, credible and not easily discredited.
To become a state licensed appraiser, we must fulfill extensive education and experience requirements that give us the background to formulate an unbiased opinion. In addition, appraisers must abide by a stringent industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The tenets for developing an appraisal and reporting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (Top) Regulations regarding licensing and certification are different from state to state. In general, licensing and certification typically translates to many hours of classroom study, tests and practical experience. Once licensed, he or she must then complete continuing education courses so that the license doesn't expire. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who do appraisers work for?   (Top)

Most of the time, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the subject is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.

Where does Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com get the information used to estimate values in Tarrant County or other areas?   (Top)

One of the main things an appraiser does is to assimilate property data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.

General data is received from a number of places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To double-check 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 a la mode's InterFlood servers.

And last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other houses in the same market.


Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?   (Top)

If you're involved in some sort of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want a full appraisal. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out a price that gets you the most profit but doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up evenly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value means you can make smart financial decisions.


My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?   (Top)

PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplemental plan guards the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the home is less than the loan balance. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.

Did you have less than 20% to put down on your mortgage? Contact Gregg White Company www.APRAZR.com today at (817) 579-9568 to see if you can get rid of your Private Mortgage Insurance payment.

Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal inspection   (Top)

We begin with an inspection of the home. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general status of its amenities. Inside, 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 exterior walls.

You can make our visit 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).
  • List of personal property to be sold with the home.
  • Any documents, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and your well.
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".

What does "Market Value" mean?   (Top)

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."



Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?   (Top)

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 entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled 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 engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.


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

The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local 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%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.