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Pringle Appraisal Services has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Pringle Appraisal Services is happy to address any inquiries you might have about appraisals in Largo and Pinellas County. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your valuation problems.

Describe an appraisal
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to request your services?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What are the contents of an appraisal report?
After completing the report, what assurance is there that the final number is valid?
What goes into an appraiser's certification?
Who engages the services of appraisers?
Where does Pringle Appraisal Services get the data used to estimate values in Pinellas County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
How do I get ready for the appraiser?
What does "Market Value" mean?
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?



Describe an appraisal   (Top)

An appraisal is a thought process that concludes with an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is arrived at by using a formal method that commonly utilizes three "common approaches to value". One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, minus depreciation and physical deterioration, adding the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns making a comparison to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is generally the most precise and best indicator of market value for a house. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is generally used to determine the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.

What does an appraiser do?   (Top)

An appraiser provides a fair and credible determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers demonstrate their expert findings in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to request your services?   (Top)

There are many reasons to order an appraisal from Pringle Appraisal Services with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
  • If you are applying for a loan.
  • If you would like to reduce your property tax obligations.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove insurance.
  • To challenge improperly assessed property taxes.
  • To deal with an estate.
  • To offer you a negotiating tool when purchasing a home.
  • To figure out a likely property value when listing your home.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS require an appraisal on every house.
  • If you are ever involved in a civil case.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of the process about getting an appraisal.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?   (Top)

Appraisers do not do complete residential property inspections and are not home inspectors. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the accessible structure and systems of a house, from the top to the foundation. For the most part, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the requirements of the property: 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, visible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.

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

Simply put, it's like comparing opera to country. The CMA relies on indistinct trends in the market. The appraisal depends on similar proven comparable sales. The appraisal report will also contain neighborhood and building prices. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

But the biggest difference is the person behind the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or have specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, Florida licensed professional who bases a career on valuing properties in and around Pinellas County is behind the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a previously agreed upon sum for assignments, regardless of their outcome.

What are the contents of an appraisal report?   (Top)

The main purpose of an appraisal document is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
  • The client and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the appraisal.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights in question, 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 other items of a similar nature.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • What was included in the activity of completing the appraisal.
For a more in depth look at all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


After completing the report, what assurance is there that the final number is valid?   (Top)

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
  • That the information analysis implemented in the appraisal was appropriate.

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

  • That appraisal services were delivered in a careful and conscientious fashion.

  • That a solid, substantiated appraisal report was imparted.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are intense education requirements as well as on the jobexperience that must be logged - all with the end goal of being able to provide unbiased value opinions. In addition, appraisers must obey a stringent industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for developing an appraisal and documenting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (Top) Regulations regarding licensing and certification vary from state to state. In general, licensing and certification is most often associated with many hours of coursework, tests and practical experience. Once licensed, he or she is required to engage in continuing education courses so that the license doesn't expire. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who engages the services of appraisers?   (Top)

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requiring their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does Pringle Appraisal Services get the data used to estimate values in Pinellas County or other areas?   (Top)

One of the most important things an appraiser does is to assimilate data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.

General data is received from a many sources. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", we often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To verify actual sales prices, we use tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.

And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (Top)

An appraisal is a valuable tool anytime your home's value is relevant to a financial decision. When selling your house, an appraisal assists you in setting a price that maximizes profit and reduces time on the market. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Pringle Appraisal Services is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up fairly. 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 the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan and the value 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 loan payment have a lineitem for PMI?Call Pringle Appraisal Services today at 727-612-0728 or send us an e-mail. A current appraisal could save you thousands.

How do I get ready for the appraiser?   (Top)

We start with an inspection of the property. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general status of its features. On the home's interior, pick up any clutter and make sure we can get to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

You can make things go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if readily available).
  • Information on any written private easements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.
  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.
  • Any inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and your well.
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".

What does "Market Value" mean?   (Top)

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."



Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?   (Top)

For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 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 engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.


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

A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. 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 most value returned 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, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.

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