The appraisal process can often be confusing and daunting to users of appraisal reports. To help you better prepare for and understand the appraisal process and report, we have highlighted some frequently asked questions.

Q: Is the appraiser an employee of the lender?

A: Some lenders utilize in-house appraisers for loans and assignments which they do not intend to sell on the secondary mortgage market. Most appraisals for financing purposes are completed by Independent Fee Appraisers, who are engaged by the lenders on a contract basis. We at Knollmeyer Appraisal Services, Inc. are independent fee appraisers and work for lenders as independent contractors to provide fair, unbiased appraisals.


Q: Can you provide me with a copy of the appraisal report?

A: If you engage us directly to complete an appraisal on your property, we can email or provide a hard copy of the report. If you are applying for a loan and your lender engages us to appraise your property or one you are hoping to purchase, we cannot. In these cases our client is the lender who engaged us and we can only disclose information about the appraisal to the lender. The lender will in most cases provide you with a copy of the report if you request it.


Q: Can I discuss the appraisal with the appraiser?

A: As above, if you engage us directly to complete an appraisal, we can absolutely discuss the report with you and are happy to do so. If you are applying for a loan, we must have authorization from our client (the lender) to discuss the information in the report and/or results. In all cases, we are happy to discuss the report, data, and results of our work with you.


Q: Is an appraisal a home inspection?

A: No. An appraiser is not a home inspector. A home inspector is a licensed professional that conducts a thorough interior and exterior inspection of a property. An appraiser only conducts a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of the property and notes apparent and obvious potential issues pertinent to estimating the market value of the property. In most cases, the appraiser assumes that the building and mechanical systems are all functional and do not suffer from any problems. If you are concerned about structural, pests, and/or mechanical components of your property, contact a qualified home inspector.


Q: How long does the appraiser spend at the property?

A: The amount of time required on site depends on the size and complexity of the property. When we arrive at the property we will measure the exterior dimensions, walk around the building, take several exterior photographs, and make notes pertinent to the valuation process. This process typically takes between 10 to 30 minutes. We will then view the interior of the property, making notes about floor coverings, appliances, etc., sketch the floor plan, and inquire about updates and improvements you have completed. This process also typically takes between 10 to 30 minutes. The entire site visit typically last between 20 to 60 minutes for single-family residences; commercial or multi-family properties can typically require between 30 minutes to 2 hours.


Q: How quickly will the report be completed?

A: For single-family homes, reports are typically delivered to the client in 24-48 hours from the date of inspection. Commercial and multi-family properties range between 72 hours to 3 weeks from the property inspection.


Q: How does the appraiser determine the value of my property?

A: The appraiser does not determine value but estimates the most probable price at which the property would sell, when market value is the purpose of the appraisal. In order to do so, the appraiser typically employs at least one of the three traditional approaches of value, the Sales Comparison Approach, the Income Approach, and the Cost Approach. Which approach to value is applicable for your property will depend on the type of property and the quantity and quality of data available to the appraiser. For single-family homes, the Sales Comparison and the Cost approaches are most common. The Sales Comparison Approach relies upon the economic principle of substitution and the appraiser analyzes recent sales of homes as similar to your property as possible. In this analysis, the appraiser accounts for material differences between the properties for items such as total living area, bathrooms, garage area, etc. The Cost Approach is also based on the principle of substitution and is an estimate of the cost required to build an exact replica of your home or a suitable replacement based on current market standards, less any accrued depreciation. In the appraisal of single-family homes, the Sales Comparison Approach is often the most applicable.


The Income Approach relies on the economic principle of anticipation. This approach considers a properties ability to generate revenue and the markets expectation of the anticipated income to value. This approach is most applicable to commercial properties and income producing residential properties.


Q: Do I have to be home when the appraiser comes?

A: Not necessarily. While some property owners prefer to be home during the appraisal inspection, it is not necessary. The appraiser will need access to the interior of the property. Many property owners who cannot meet the appraiser have a neighbor or family member let the appraiser in or simply leave a key for the appraiser.

Q: Is there anything I need to do before the appraiser comes?

A: There is not anything that you have to do but several things that can expedite the appraisal inspection and completion of the report. Here is a list of some things that you can do to expedite the process.

· Trim or move any shrubbery or landscaping that is close to the exterior walls and may obstruct the appraiser from measuring the building.

· Make sure basement, crawl space, and outbuilding doors are unlocked.

· Make a list of all buildings located on your property, particularly for large acreage sites.

· Make a list of all improvements, updates, and upgrades that you have completed.

· Make a list of special features of your property. Items such as central vacuum systems, irrigation systems, energy efficient features, and any other item that may not be obvious.

· Sales of properties similar to yours in the neighborhood or area that you know of.

There is no such thing as too much information for the appraiser. If you think it matters, please bring it to our attention.

If you have any questions not covered here or need further information on any of the above topics, please send us a message.

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