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Appraisal FAQ

  • How long does appraisal take to come back?

    1. Generally, an appraisal takes 3-6 business days to complete from the date of physical inspection, depending on complexity.
  • What does an appraiser do?

    1. An appraiser uses at least 1 of 3 methods to determine value of real property, and this would be Sales Comparison Approach, Cost Approach or Income Approach.
  • What assurance is there that the value indicated is valid after the report is completed?

    1. At Davis Appraisal Service we write reports from scratch, and build them bulletproof using a plethora of data. We use the most technologically advanced software in the industry (Ala Mode Total Appraisal Software). We also use Excel to import/export critical market data into analytics software (Titan Analytics) to build regression models and to determine market trends such as housing supplies, absorption, sale-to-list ratios, market exposure times, cash discount analysis, etc. It should be noted that value fluctuates based on market trends, and there are no guarantees to how long an appraisal value will be valid.
  • How do I get ready for the appraiser?

    1. As a general rule properties that are well maintained tend to be more photogenic, and therefore compete better with comparable properties in the market. At Davis Appraisal Service we will not appraise your laundry, dishes, toys, junk, bass boats or any personal property. We understand that folks live in their homes, we do too! However it is always advantageous to compete at the highest level possible within a specific dataset, and it’s always best to attain the highest level of marketability when competing w/ market properties.
  • What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?

    1. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is usually required for conventional mortgages when a borrower has less than 20% of “skin in the game”, or a mortgage greater than 80% loan-to-value. PMI can be reduced through equity gains or when market data/trends increase property value. Yes, PMI can be alleviated w/ an appraisal that proves the property value has increased to a level that satisfies FNMA requirements. It’s always prudent to contact your lender prior to engaging an appraiser for PMI removal. Some lenders have an approved appraiser roster, so don’t waste your money w/o performing due diligence.
  • What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?

    1. Appraisal reports are performed by licensed professional appraisers using better technology and a significantly more thorough quantitative process. Appraisal reports are accepted by the mortgage industry, as well as HUD, FNMA, FHLMC & VA to facilitate federally related transactions, but CMA’S are not. A CMA is a short-form process typically performed by realtors to determine a competing listing price for a specific property.
  • Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in our area?

    1. An appraiser will use data obtained from MLS, tax records, appraiser database, purchase contracts, construction contracts, construction manuals and peripheral on-line data sources.
  • What type of appraiser do I need?

    1. At Davis Appraisal Service we have over 25 years of experience appraising properties in 10-12 counties surrounding the Greater Knoxville Area. State Licensed Appraisers are the lowest level of license status. They are permitted to value residential properties up to $1,000,000, and are not allowed to perform HUD/FHA or VA appraisals. State Certified Appraisers (like Davis Appraisal Service) have no residential value limitations, can even perform commercial valuations up to $250,000, and are approved to work for HUD/FHA or VA. State Certified General Appraisers hold the top level of licensing and are permitted to perform residential and commercial valuations w/ no value limitations.
  • How long is my appraisal "up-to-date"?

    1. Value fluctuates based on market trends. In a normal market, value would typically be static for 3-6 months. In a screaming market, like we’ve seen in East Tennessee past several years, value may only be valid <30 days.
  • Can't I just e-mail photos of my item?

    1. Absolutely, client provided photos are always helpful. In fact, at Davis Appraisal Service we encourage our clients to provide every form of data at their disposal. Whether it be photos, video, summary of capital improvements, summary of expenses, time-lapse photos, etc. The more data we have at our disposal, the more credible the valuation! Now, if we have been engaged to do a final inspection to satisfy a hypothetical condition, we will want to see these items in person.
  • Is it ethical for an appraiser to help me sell an object or collection?

    1. It’s never unethical to help a fellow human regardless of culture, religion, politics, race, gender, etc. At Davis Appraisal Service, over a 25 year period, we have had the pleasure to help many people unload heavy items from their moving truck, help move a refrigerator, help a home owner hang a heavy picture frame on the wall, or help a home owner find a lost pet and we always enjoy good conversation and good people. However, it is unethical to accept any appraisal assignment based on predetermined contingencies, values or peripheral performance expectations. We will not accept additional cash to cook the books for anybody, and if you’re looking for a crooked appraiser to massage the value, keep on trucking!
  • Who actually owns the appraisal report?

    1. The appraiser retains some proprietary rights to the appraisal report. However, the client owns the appraisal report, and it would be illegal for an appraiser to distribute or communicate the results of the appraisal report to any other party w/o express written permission from the client. It would require a court order to breach this privacy agreement.
  • What are some questions to ask potential appraisers?

    1. Does the appraiser have competency in my market? Does the appraiser have competency to appraise my property w/ its complexities? Does the appraiser have liability insurance? What can I do to increase value or marketability? Should I secure my pets? What type of appraisal do I need for the purpose and intended use?
  • What type of appraisal do I need?

    1. Full interior/exterior appraisal: This is the most invasive, thorough and credible report option. Inspection will generally require <1 hour at property, and 3-6 business days to complete. Prices start at $500 and fluctuate based on complexity.
    2. Exterior-only appraisal: This is a good option for people who want to maintain their privacy and still get a credible valuation. Generally will require client input, photos, video, etc., and 3-6 business days to complete. Prices start at $400 and fluctuate based on complexity.
    3. Desktop Appraisal: This is a good option for people who live in high density neighborhoods where sale data is plentiful and easily discernable. These reports are completed from my office w/o any physical observation and will absolutely require client input, photos, video, etc. Prices start at $300 and fluctuate based on complexity.

The type of appraisal needed depends on the purpose and intended use. At Davis Appraisal Service we will always advise our clients to utilize the appraisal type that protects their best financial interest, and we will never allow you to waste your hard-earned money on frivolous appraisals if we think we can’t help you. We will always tell you the truth!