Churchey Appraisal, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Churchey Appraisal, Inc. is always prepared to elaborate on any concerns you might have about appraisals or real estate in Plymouth and Plymouth County. Contact Churchey Appraisal, Inc. today to talk about how we can help you with your valuation problems.

What is an appraisal?
Describe what an appraiser does
What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What does the appraisal report contain?
After completing the report, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is legitimate?
What does it mean for an appraiser to be licensed?
Who do appraisers work for?
Where does Churchey Appraisal, Inc. get the information used to estimate values in Plymouth 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?
How do I get ready for the appraiser?
Define "Market Value"
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?



What is an appraisal?   (List of questions)

An appraisal report is an estimation leading to an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser will use a several "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. One of them is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves searching for similar homes in the vicinity and finding value based on making a comparison of those properties to the house being investigated. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a residential property. The Income Approach is primarily used for finding the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of capital a property produce.

Describe what an appraiser does   (List of questions)

An appraiser produces a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers exhibit their professional investigation in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?   (List of questions)

There are a lot of reasons to order an appraisal from Churchey Appraisal, Inc. with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an report include:
  • To obtain a loan.
  • To lower your property taxes.
  • To show a homeowner has 30% equity and remove Primary Mortgage Insurance.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • If you need to take care of an estate.
  • To provide you an edge when purchasing real estate.
  • To figure out an honest sales price when selling your home.
  • 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 property.
  • It's possible you could have to deal with being in a lawsuit - an appraisal will help.
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?   (List of questions)

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 evaluate the structure of the home from foundation to rooftop. The general house inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the integrity of the property's heating systems, 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?   (List of questions)

To be honest, they have nothing in common. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. Appraisals use comparable sales which are verifiable resources. Location and building costs are also a priority 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.

But the largest differentiator is who's creating the report. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no conditional interest in the value conclusion, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the price of the home.

What does the appraisal report contain?   (List of questions)

The main point of an appraisal report 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.
  • The intended use of the report.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value contained and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.
  • Pertinent 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, items that are more or less permanently installed 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 job.
For a more comprehensive look at what goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


After completing the report, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is legitimate?   (List of questions)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal contained analysis of the information.

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

  • That appraisal services were rendered in a careful and cognizant fashion.

  • That a solid, supportable appraisal report was conferred.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are intense education requirements as well as practical experience that must be logged - all with the objective of gaining the skills required to render unbiased value opinions. Plus, appraisers must stick to a stringent industry code of ethics and observe national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The tenets for working up an appraisal and communicating its results are guaranteed by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (List of questions) Licensing and certification is achieved through coursework, tests and real world experience. Once an appraiser is licensed, he/she is required to take continuing education courses so the license stays current. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who do appraisers work for?   (List of questions)

Typically, appraisers are hired by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does Churchey Appraisal, Inc. get the information used to estimate values in Plymouth County or other areas?   (List of questions)

One of the main things an appraiser does is to gather 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 gathered by the appraiser while on site.

General data is collected from a numerous sources. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. To verify actual sales prices, we use tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, so that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

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


Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?   (List of questions)

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 determine a price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; 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 Churchey Appraisal, Inc. is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up properly. Simply put, a home 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?   (List of questions)

PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added policy covers the lender in case a borrower is unable to 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.

Does your monthly mortgage payment include a fee for PMI?Call Churchey Appraisal, Inc. today at 5082249476 or send us an e-mail. Documentation of your home's present value could save you thousands.

How do I get ready for the appraiser?   (List of questions)

The first step in most appraisals is the property 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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any shrubs and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.

To help expedite our work as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
  • Any records on the purchase of the property for the last three years.
  • Information on any written private agreements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.
  • 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.
  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, in the event of a pending sale.

Define "Market Value"   (List of questions)

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?   (List of questions)

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 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 hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, the appraiser may stipulate the purpose of the appraisal; 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.


How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?   (List of questions)

A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. 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 best ROI from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. 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, work that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.