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REASONS TO GET AN APPRAISAL
Every year, countless people in the United States buy, sell or refinance their own slice of the American Dream.  Most, if not all, of these transactions include a simple line item for an appraisal.  It has become an understood and accepted part of a real estate transaction.  "Let's bring in the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this property."

But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services of a certified, licensed, independent real estate professional might come in handy?  You bet.

PURCHASE OF A HOME
One of the most important issues involved in purchasing a property is developing an opinion of what it's worth so that you can make an informed offer to purchase.  A professional appraisal report performed by a qualified, state-licensed appraiser can provide you with an objective, third party opinion of a property's current Market Value.  And for the small price of this service, you can give yourself "peace of mind" prior to making an offer to purchase that you're offering a fair price for the property. 

REFINANCE OR GET A HOME EQUITY LOAN
If you need to consolidate bills, have a college tuition to pay, or just want to tap into the equity of your home, you'll need a new loan, which oftentimes requires a new appraisal of the property.
 
PMI REMOVAL
Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. This is unfortunate because PMI becomes unnecessary when the remaining balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or principal paydown - dips below this 80% level. In fact, the United States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.

Many appraisers offer a specific service for home owners that believe they have met the 80% loan-to-value metric. For a nominal fee, the appraiser can provide you with a statement regarding the home value. Some will even take the next step and help you file a challenge with your mortgage company. The costs of these services are very often recovered in just a few months of not paying the PMI.

DIVORCE SETTLEMENT
A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience for both parties and is often further complicated by the difficult decision of "Who gets the house?".  In most divorce cases, the Court won't usually force the parties involved to "buyout" the other party's interest but it may however order the sale of the home so each party gets an equal share of the equity.  Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea to order an appraisal so both parties are fully aware of what the true market value is.

If the parties want to sell the home, they'll have a better idea of what price to set.  And on the flipside, if a "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties will feel like they've gotten a fair assessment.
 
ESTATE LIQUIDATION
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in life and settling an estate from a death, or probate, often requires an appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the residential property involved.  The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest degree of discretion.

Unlike many wealthy individuals, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to handle these issues.  Also, in most cases, a home or other real property makes up a disproportionate share of the total estate value.

Here too, an appraiser can help.  Often the first step in fairly disposing of an estate is to understand its true value.  Where property is involved, the appraiser can help determine the true value.  At this point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.

RELOCATION
We understand the stress involved with an employee relocation.  We take great care in establishing a convenient appointment time for the appraisal inspection. During our thorough inspection, we encourage relocating employees to provide input on the positive attributes of their property along with information about any recent sales or listings in their neighborhood that they want considered.

HOME IMPROVEMENTS TO ADD VALUE
Before you decide to sell your home, there are several decisions to be made. First and foremost: "How much should it sell for?"  But don't forget there may be other equally important questions to ask yourself such as "Would it be better to paint the entire house before we sell it?", "Should I put in that third bathroom?", "Should I complete my kitchen remodel?"  Many things which we do to our houses have an effect on their value.  Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home, it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense.

SELLING A HOME
Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use the assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can help you make a better educated decision when determining your selling price.

Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for.  It's easy for them to step in and give you the information to help you make your decision.  Appraiser fees are based on efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales price. So seeking a professional appraisal can often help homeowners make the best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales price.

 


PAYMENT INFORMATION:

We allow all regular clients to pay for the appraisal fees at closing or if the loan does not go through they can pay direct to Sharolynn Myers Appraisal Service, L.L.C.

All other clients must pay prior to the appraisal being sent. The payment can either be a lender paying in advance (we will start the inspection process while waiting on payment; but the appraisal can not be sent until payment is received). We can also collect at the door from the homeowner. We prefer cashiers checks or cash; but occasionally we can accept personal check.

We can now accept credit cards through paypal.  If the borrower needs to use this option just contact Sharolynn Myers and she can help you through this process.

If you should need any other special payment arrangements, please contact Sharolynn Myers and talk to her direct.

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What does an appraiser do?

The fundamental role of an appraiser is to provide a professional opinion, usually an estimate of market value, to be used in making real estate decisions. Typically, appraisers are employed by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigating cases, tax matters and investment decisions.


Do I need an appraisal when I sell my home?

It's a good idea. Pricing your home too high may mean that it will never sell. Pricing it too low could cost you thousands of dollars.


Won't a Realtor tell me what my home is worth?

Realtors offer their own opinion as to the value and are often somewhat reliable. The appraiser, however, does an in-depth analysis and can provide a more reliable estimate or value. Even a small variance in price can mean thousands of dollars to you.


How long does an appraisal take?

At the home, the inspection takes less than one hour. From here, the work begins. At Sharolynn Myers Appraisal Service we will have the report finished within 24 hours.  (Rarely it may take longer if a complex assignment.)


What happens at the inspection?

The appraiser takes pictures of the front and rear of the home and then measures the exterior to determine the home's square footage. The inspection of the interior is to view the home's condition, layout, features, and to measure any basement finish.  Interior photos are taken if the lender requests.


Do I need to have anything ready for the appraiser before the inspection?

No, however, the more information that the appraiser has pertaining to the home the better. A list of dates of improvements, features, and problem areas is always helpful.


How does an appraiser estimate value?

By researching what comparable homes have recently sold for in your area and considering the value of the differences.The appraiser's job is to locate the homes which are the most similar to yours to form an opinion on the value. The factors which are considered in choosing comparable sales include: location, size, number of bedrooms, age, condition, and overall similarities.


What does the appraiser do with comparable sales?

After obtaining all of the detailed information about the homes, the appraiser makes either positive or negative adjustments to the sales price of the comparable to account for the differences between the home being appraised, (the subject), and this comparable sale. Typically, this analysis indicates a consistent indication of value.


What are the adjustments based on?

All of the adjustments are primarily based on what a typical buyer would be willing to pay for these items (market value).


What are some of the factors that the appraiser considers in value?

Location, lot size, age, square footage, condition, basement finish, amenities, recent updates, amount of garage space, bedrooms, bathrooms, condition, etc. Basically, anything that a prospective buyer would consider impacts the home's value.


Does your appraisal influence my taxes?

No.  I am an independent fee appraiser and I do not work for the county or city.  You can always show the tax department my appraisal to help lower your taxes; but I do not inform them of my estimated market value if they are not my client.


Can you help me if I need to get my real estate taxes lowered in Jackson County?

Absolutely.  The county appraises your house every year and typically sends you a statement in April.  You only have until the 3rd Monday in June to contest the appraised value of the county to affect the taxes for the same year.  The Jackson county department uses a formula to base your tax amount on.  Every area is different; but typically if you lower your estimated market value $20,000 you could save you up to $350 a year in real estate taxes.  If you lower the estimated appraised value by $50,000, you could save about $800.  It really pays to make sure that the county has your estimated market value correct.


Can you help me if I need to get my real estate taxes lowered in other counties in the metro Kansas City area?

Absolutely.  Just call and let us know what county and we will let you know if we service that area.