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Tisa Appraisal Services has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Tisa Appraisal Services is always happy to address any questions you might have about appraisals or real estate in Monroe County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

What is an appraisal?
Describe what an appraiser does
What are the reasons someone would require your services?
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What does the appraisal report contain?
Once the assignment has been delivered, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is legitimate?
How difficult is it to become certified?
Who hires an appraiser?
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Monroe County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?
What does "Market Value" mean?
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Which home renovations add the most to the price?



What is an appraisal?   (List of questions)

The appraisal process is an evaluation that generates an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is arrived at through the use of a formal method that commonly uses three "common approaches to value". One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, minus depreciation and physical deterioration, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with searching for similar homes in the vicinity and discovering the value based on making a comparison of those properties to the home being appraised. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a house. 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 would bring in.

Describe what an appraiser does   (List of questions)

An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased determination of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers present their professional findings in appraisal reports.


What are the reasons someone would require your services?   (List of questions)

There are a lot of reasons to purchase an appraisal from Tisa Appraisal Services with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for purchasing an report include:
  • To get a loan.
  • To lower your property taxes.
  • To show a homeowner has 30% equity and remove PMI.
  • To contest high property taxes.
  • To settle an estate.
  • To offer you an edge when purchasing real estate.
  • To determine a reasonable sales price when selling your home.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS require an appraisal on every property.
  • It's possible you could be involved in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
For a more extensive explanation of the appraisal process click here.


Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?   (List of questions)

The appraiser is not a home inspector and he or she does not do a comprehensive home inspection. A third-party home inspector will inspect the structure of the home, from the top to the foundation. Usually, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the requirements of the home: 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, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.

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

Honestly, they have nothing in common. The CMA utilizes market trends to generate most of their business. The appraisal relies on similar verifiable comparable sales. Also, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, area and replacement costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.

The person creating the report is actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, create CMA's. A certified, New York licensed professional who made a career on valuing homes in and around Monroe County is behind the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no conditional interest in the value of a home, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the price of the home.

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

Each appraisal must demonstrate a believable value opinion and must clearly state the following:
  • The client and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • The intended use of the appraisal.
  • The reason for the assignment.
  • The type of value contained 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, trade fixtures and even intangible items.
  • Any 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 considered to complete the appraisal.
For a more detailed look at what goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the assignment has been delivered, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is legitimate?   (List of questions)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
  • The appraisal contained analysis of the data.

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

  • That appraisal services were not carried out in a careless or negligent manner.

  • The final appraisal report was transparent, credible and not easily discredited.
To become a state licensed appraiser, we must satisfy considerable education and experience requirements that enable us to produce an unbiased opinion. Likewise, appraisers must obey a strict 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 guaranteed by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (List of questions) Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers are different from state to state. However, licensing and certification is most often associated with many hours of classroom study, tests and experience working under a supervisory appraiser. Once licensed, he/she must then engage in continuing education courses so the license remains current. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who hires an appraiser?   (List of questions)

Commonly, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a house involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.

Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Monroe County or other areas?   (List of questions)

Compiling data is one of the main things an appraiser performs. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are documented by the appraiser while on site.

General data is collected from a numerous places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have 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 retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.

And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other houses in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (List of questions)

An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value is relevant to a financial decision. If you're selling your house, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Tisa Appraisal Services is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up evenly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.


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

PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than what is owed on 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.

Did you secure your mortgage with less than 20% down? Call Tisa Appraisal Services today at (585) 506-8628 to see if you can save money by removing your Private Mortgage Insurance payment.

Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?   (List of questions)

We start with an inspection of the home. 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. Inside, make sure it is clutter free and that we can get to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

To help expedite our work plus ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway.
  • Title policy that describes encroachments or easements.
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • A list of any major home improvements and enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • A list of "proposed" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

What does "Market Value" mean?   (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."



Who has rights to the appraisal report?   (List of questions)

In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 appraisal - 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.

It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these cases, the appraiser may stipulate 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.


Which home renovations add the most to the price?   (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

No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. 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 are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. On the contrary, work that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.