Why do I need an Appraisal?
Year after year, countless people in Arizona buy, sell or refinance their home. A lot of these transactions have a simple line item for an appraisal. Most lenders still call in a local expert because the stakes are so high, even though there are an increasing number of automated home valuation processes that might appear more practical than an appraisal.
Is getting a mortgage the only reason you should get an appraisal? Are there more cases when the services of a certified, independent real estate professional could come in handy?
Of course there are.
Estate Settlement Appraisals
The task of settling an estate, often a source of stress, is not to be taken lightly.
It's up to you as an executor to carry out the wishes of the deceased as quickly and with as much dignity as possible. You can count on us to act expeditiously and with as much sensitivity to the feelings of everyone left behind.
Usually, settling an estate necessitates a detailed appraisal report to determine market value for the house to the satisfaction of the parties involved. We are accustomed to the procedures and requirements requested by the federal and Arizona revenue agencies to perform a retrospective appraisal with an effective date and market value estimate matching the date of death. The ethical obligations stated within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) keeps our staff to confidentiality, assuring the fullest degree of privacy for all parties involved.
The necessity of owning an appraisal when cooperating with the IRS to show income when filing documents is often overlooked by most people. An exhaustive report showing the appraiser's opinion of value is necessary to support the methods the appraiser used to come to his conclusions. This level of documentation will definitely demonstrate your claim that the values expressed are well-founded and accurate.
Home Valuation Services of Arizona ensures an accurate report, which will give an executor definite facts and numbers that will exceed IRS and revenue agency requirements. You need not worry over anything, because we will be there to support our appraisals if they are ever challenged.
There are generally two options when discussing real estate in divorce proceedings - it can be put on the market and the proceeds divided, or one party can "buy out" the other. In either case, one or both parties would be wise to commission an appraisal of the residence. A divorce appraisal should include a well-supported, professional report that is defensible during a trial. The parties will have a good idea of what price to set, if they need to sell the home. And if a "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties will feel like they've received a fair assessment.
As an attorney working with a divorce, your case's evidence typically needs an appraisal to establish market value for the residential real estate involved. A lot of the time the divorce date can be different from the date you ordered the appraisal. We're versed in the methods and the effort requisite to complete a retrospective appraisal with an effective date and Market Value opinion corresponding to the date of divorce. We perform many divorce appraisals and we understand that they need to be handled with total professionalism. The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) means the highest amount of confidentiality, ensuring the utmost discretion.
Date of Death Valuation
Estate tax liability. Disposition of assets under a will or in probate. There are many situations where you might need an appraisal of property that states an opinion of what the property was worth on a date some time ago, rather than when the appraisal is ordered. For estate tax purposes or disposition of the assets of a decedent, a "date of death" valuation is often required. (Sometimes, the executor of the estate may choose to have the date be six months after the date of death -- but the same principles apply.)
Attorneys, accountants, executors and others rely on Home Valuation Services of Arizona for "date of death" valuations because such appraisals require special expertise and training. They require a firm that's been in the area for some time and can effectively research comparable sales.
Real property isn't like publicly traded stock or other items which don't fluctuate in value very much or for which historical public data is available. You need a professional real estate appraiser, bound by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) for a high degree of confidentiality and professionalism, and you need the kind of quality report and work product taxing authorities and courts need and expect.
Other reason you might need an appraisal...
Let Home Valuation Services of Arizona give you an accurate calculation of property dimensions to determine a fair value when buying a property, marketing a property to potential clients, or reducing your property taxes. Learn more about our measurement services here.
Are you working with a real estate agent to list your property? Quite often they'll give you a comparative market analysis (or a CMA) that displays similar sales in your town. It's a good starting point in deciding your home's listing price. This step is vital if you're going to minimize your house's time on the market and maximize your profit. Even if you're working with the most experienced real estate agent, it's in your best interest to also have a third-party's objective opinion of value before signing the Listing Agreement.
That's where Home Valuation Services of Arizona comes in! We'll perform a pre-listing appraisal so you and your real estate agent both have a detailed analysis of the most recent and similar comparable sales and an accurate description of your home's features.
So many people are blown away when they find out that the market value of their home is a lot more than they'd planned, so investing in a professional appraisal from us actually allowed these sellers to receive several thousand more dollars than they thought they would when their home was sold. Others have an inflated opinion of their home's amount of value and an appraisal helped them to decide on a realistic price for their home in order for it to sell.
Upgrades that improve your home's value
There are many important questions to ask yourself prior to listing your home -- and Home Valuation Services of Arizona can help with that. Would it be better to paint the whole house before we sell it... Does the carpet need replacing... Do I need to complete my kitchen remodel... Nearly any project will affect value in some way. But each thing impacts value differently. A kitchen remodel might improve the appeal of a home, but it may not justify the costs you'd pay.
We can step in and help you make these important decisions. Unlike an agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for. An appraisal fee from Home Valuation Services of Arizona is based on our efforts to finalize the report, and are not a percentage of your home's sale price. A professional appraisal from Home Valuation Services of Arizona helps you make the best decisions when it comes to investments to add value and deciding on a fair price at which to sell.
Assessment Appeal ServicesMost localities determine your property tax burden based on an ad valorem assessment of the property's value. Sometimes, as a property owner, you get an unwanted surprise in the mail telling you your taxes are going up, and sometimes it may seem as though your assessment is too high.
Often, matters like this can be resolved with a phone call. However, if after discussing your assessment with your local taxing authority you still feel as though your property was overvalued, a professional, independent, third-party appraiser is often your best bet in proving your case.
There are as many different procedures for appealing assessments as there are property taxing districts, so it's important to enlist the help of a professional appraisal firm that's experienced and trained in the ins and outs of your particular jurisdiction.
Please note: It makes sense to do your own research before determining whether to go forward with a property assessment appeal, especially before you make the decision to hire a professional appraiser. However, according to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), we are not allowed to take "shortcuts" -- i.e., your research -- and use it on its face as part of our independent evaluation. When you hire us for an assessment appeal, you're commissioning an independent, third-party professional appraisal report. As such we do our own evaluation, beginning to end. If you're right that your property has been overvalued, an independent report such as ours will be even more persuasive than any other evidence you can marshal on your own. But it depends on our ability to do the work independently.
Sometimes, you will have a hearing on your assessment appeal and will need for the appraiser you've hired to testify on your behalf. Be assured that at Home Valuation Services of Arizona, we are able to professionally and persuasively testify at appeal hearings.