ValPro Appraisal LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

ValPro Appraisal LLC is eager to answer any questions you might have about appraisals in Lee County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

Define the term "Appraisal"
Describe what an appraiser does
What are the reasons I would require a real estate appraisal?
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What's in an appraisal report?
Upon completion of the appraisal, how can I have certainty that the value conclusion is accurate?
How hard is it to become certified?
Who hires ValPro Appraisal LLC
Where does ValPro Appraisal LLC get the data used to estimate values in Lee County or other areas?
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Do you need anything from me in advance?
Define "Market Value"
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?



Define the term "Appraisal"   (Top)

The procedure of creating an appraisal report consists of an investigation which forms an opinion of value. The appraiser must use a number of "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the processes that real estate appraisers use to find value; it involves finding what the improvements would cost without physical deterioration, adding the land value. Easily the most common approach in figuring the value of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns concluding a comparison to comparable properties close by. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to find the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the capital produced by the building.

Describe what an appraiser does   (Top)

An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased determination of market value, in the support of real property transactions. Appraisers demonstrate their expert conclusions in appraisal reports.


What are the reasons I would require a real estate appraisal?   (Top)

There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from ValPro Appraisal LLC with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:
  • To obtain a loan.
  • If you would like to lower your property tax obligations.
  • To build a case for a homeowner's equity and remove PMI.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • To settle an estate.
  • To provide you a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.
  • To figure out a likely price when selling your home.
  • 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.
  • It's possible you could be involved in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
For a more extensive description of the appraisal process click here.


Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?   (Top)

The appraiser is not a home inspector and he or she does not do a complete home inspection. An inspection is a third-party evaluation of the available structure and electrical and mechanical systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. For the most part, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the requirements of the house: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical functions, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural integrity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (Top)

To be honest, they have nothing in common. What the CMA depends on are superficial trends. An appraisal relies on comparable sales that can be proven by public record. Area and construction values are also precedent in an appraisal. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

But the most significant factor is who's behind the report. Real estate agents produce CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, state licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing homes in and around Lee 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 accept a previously agreed upon sum for work they perform, regardless of their outcome.

What's in an appraisal report?   (Top)

The main objective of an appraisal report is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
  • The client and other intended users.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value contained and a definition of that value.
  • The effective date of the value opinion.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical characteristics, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights valued, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations 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.
  • What was involved in the activity of completing the appraisal.
For a more detailed look at what goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Upon completion of the appraisal, how can I have certainty that the value conclusion is accurate?   (Top)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal used an appropriate analysis of the data.

  • That grave 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, substantiated appraisal report was imparted.
There are intense education and practical experience requirements that must be adhered to in order to become a licensed appraiser in Florida. Likewise, appraisers must abide by a strict industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for carrying out 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 of Real Estate Appraisers vary from state to state. In general, licensing and certification typically translates to many hours of classroom study, tests and experience working under a supervisor. Once licensed, he/she must then engage in continuing education courses so the license stays up to date. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who hires ValPro Appraisal LLC   (Top)

Commonly, appraisers are employed by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the subject is indeed adequate collateral for the loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does ValPro Appraisal LLC get the data used to estimate values in Lee County or other areas?   (Top)

Gathering information is one of the primary roles of an appraiser. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is gathered from a many sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we use tax records and other public documents. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And last but not least, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?   (Top)

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 a price that maximizes profit and reduces time on the market. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from ValPro Appraisal LLC is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided fairly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.


What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?   (Top)

PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added policy protects the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than the balance of the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.

Did you secure your mortgage with less than 20% down? Call ValPro Appraisal LLC today at (239) 745-7662. You may be able to get rid of your Private Mortgage Insurance premium.

Do you need anything from me in advance?   (Top)

The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. During this process, the appraiser 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. Is there anything you can do to help? Yes there is! First, be sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any shrubs and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can easily access items like furnaces and water heaters.

The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance easement for a shared driveway.
  • List of personal property to be sold with the building.
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and upgrades, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of Energy efficiency upgrades or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • A list of "suggested" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

Define "Market Value"   (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."



Who has rights to the appraisal report?   (Top)

For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is certainly 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 situations, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?   (Top)

This really depends on where the home is. 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 best ROI 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, returning 85%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.