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Appraisals On Time, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Appraisals On Time, LLC is always eager to answer any inquiries you might have about appraisals or real estate in Larimer County. Contact us today to see how we can help solve your specific valuation problems.

Describe an appraisal
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to request services from Appraisals On Time, LLC?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What's in an appraisal report?
Once the report has been delivered, what assurance is there that the final number is veritable?
What are the requirements to be a certified appraiser?
Who engages the services of appraisers?
Where does Appraisals On Time, LLC get the data used to estimate values in Larimer County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment
Define "Market Value"
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?
Which home renovations add the most to the price?



Describe an appraisal   (Go to list of  questions)

An appraiser performs an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the appraiser come to this opinion or valuation. The Cost Approach is one of the approaches that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a house; it involves finding what the improvements would cost minus physical deterioration, adding the land value. The most common approach in figuring the value of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with making a comparison to similar homes close by. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a house. The Income Approach is primarily used for determining the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of capital a property would bring in.

What does an appraiser do?   (Go to list of  questions)

An appraiser generates an objective and well substantiated assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers present their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to request services from Appraisals On Time, LLC?   (Go to list of  questions)

There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Appraisals On Time, LLC with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for getting an appraisal include:
  • To get a loan.
  • To reduce your property taxes.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove PMI.
  • To fight high property taxes.
  • To handle an estate.
  • To give you an edge when purchasing real estate.
  • To figure out a likely price when putting your home on the market.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Because an official agency such as the IRS requires it.
  • If you ever find yourself in a lawsuit.
If you need a more detailed explanation of the appraisal process, please click here.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?   (Go to list of  questions)

Home inspectors do not estimate an opinion of value and do not use the same forms as appraisers. The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the property from foundation to attic. Usually, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical systems, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (Go to list of  questions)

To be honest, they share nothing in common. The CMA depends on indefinite market trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are verifiable resources. The appraisal report will also include neighborhood and building values. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

The credentials of the person creating the report is actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is written by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing real estate in and around Larimer County is behind the appraisal. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no vested interest in the value conclusion, unlike the agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.

What's in an appraisal report?   (Go to list of  questions)

The main purpose of an appraisal document is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of that value.
  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic factors, the real property interest valued, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, items that are more or less permanently installed and even intangible considerations.
  • 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 used while working up the assignment.
For a more in depth view of all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the report has been delivered, what assurance is there that the final number is veritable?   (Go to list of  questions)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
  • That the information analysis implemented in the appraisal was proper.

  • Whether individually or collectively, there were no substantial errors contained in the appraisal, nor any relevant details left out.

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

  • The final appraisal report was clear, legitimate and not easily discredited.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are strenuous education requirements as well as real world experience that must be logged - all with the objective of being able to render unbiased value opinions. Plus, appraisers must follow a stringent industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for working up an appraisal and reporting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (Go to list of  questions) Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers are different from state to state. However, licensing and certification typically translates to many hours of coursework, tests and experience working under a supervisor. Once an appraiser is 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 engages the services of appraisers?   (Go to list of  questions)

Typically, appraisers are employed by lenders to render a value opinion on real estate involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does Appraisals On Time, LLC get the data used to estimate values in Larimer County or other areas?   (Go to list of  questions)

Collecting information is one of the main tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser while on site.

General data is gathered from a number of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (Go to list of  questions)

Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. If you're selling your house, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Appraisals On Time, LLC is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided properly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value means you can make informed financial decisions.


What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?   (Go to list of  questions)

PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It covers the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the house is lower than the balance of the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.

Is PMI a lineitem in your monthly house payment?Call Appraisals On Time, LLC today at (970) 222-0856 or send us an e-mail. Documentation of your home's current value could save you thousands.

Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment   (Go to list of  questions)

We start 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, make sure it is clutter free and that we can get 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.

To help speed things along plus ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:
  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available).
  • List of personal property to be sold with the building.
  • Most recent real estate tax bill from Larimer and or legal description of the property.
  • Any inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and wells.
  • A list of "suggested" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

Define "Market Value"   (Go to list of  questions)

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."



Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?   (Go to list of  questions)

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 report - 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.

The exception to this rule is when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these cases, the appraiser may stipulate 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.


Which home renovations add the most to the price?   (Go to list of  questions)

The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local market. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want

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 were second, yielding 85%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.