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Property Appraisal Questions

A property appraisal is a professional survey of a property by an appraiser to understand the market value of the property. Appraisers who undertake the survey are professionals who are licensed by the state and maintain strict ethical standards. Very often, a property appraisal is carried out for a bank when a property is being approved for a loan.

Listed below are a few questions answered by lawyers on property appraisal related questions.

Is there an online service where real estate appraisers share their property appraisal reports with each other?

Real estate appraisers are meant to keep their reports confidential. They are only allowed to share them with the clients who commissioned the appraisal in the first place. However, details of property sales that take place are recorded at the town clerk's office and are available for anyone to view since they are considered to be public records.

What is an FHA property appraisal?

An FHA appraisal is part of a process undertaken to qualify for a FHA mortgage loan. The appraiser has to check a long list of requirements concerned with the safety and soundness of the property being appraised. These requirements change every year.

I live in California and the single family home I stay in is being appraised by my landlord. Am I required to allow the appraiser to take pictures of every room in the house?

The CA landlord tenant laws state that the landlord and his agent need to give the tenant reasonable advance notice in writing before entering the property and they can do so only during normal business hours. This would generally mean 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. The notice would need to state the date and the approximate time, along with the purpose of entry.

With regard to taking pictures, part of the appraisal process includes taking pictures so the photos can be used if and when the property is listed. This step wouldn’t be considered a breach of the tenant’s use and quiet enjoyment since it is being undertaken legally.

My property which is zoned as a C2 property got a residential appraisal at $185,000. I want to sell it as a commercial property for $250,000. Does my property need to be zoned as a C1 property for this to happen?

Unfortunately, to sell a property as commercial property, it has to be zoned as such. If you do plan to sell a residential zoned property as a commercial property, the buyer could not only rescind the offer but also decide to sue you for damages later.

I recently received a property appraisal that is 20-30% lower than expected. It seems inaccurate and invalid as it is not based on available data like upgrades, remodelling, rental income, and so on. What can I do?

What you could do is to get a new appraisal done by another expert. If the new appraisal turns out to be much more than the previous one, you can demand your money back for the first one.

There are usually 3 ways to appraise a property:
  1. 1. Fair Market Value
  2. 2. Cost to Rebuild
  3. 3. Fair Rental Value

What the appraiser does is take all three into account while appraising the property and then decides which of the three ways reflects the property best, based on the analysis.

Also, remember that appraisals are based on "opinions" and can easily vary by 10% or more based on the current economic climate.

Appraisals that are lower than a seller’s asking price can jeopardize the loan and very often the sale of the property too. Before you dispute an appraisal, you should examine all the facts that went into appraising it. This could include factors like property sales in your neighborhood for the last six months, any differences like renovations and improvements that would make your property more valuable, and so on. If you have a strong case for a second appraisal, your lender could allow for it.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5379
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
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11 Real Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Appraisal Questions

  • HI I'm renting an apartment on the second floor in two family

    HI
    I'm renting an apartment on the second floor in two family house in NJ, recently the house was sold and the new landlord renovating the first floor but he didn't give us any notice for that and he is working(drilling hitting the walls) after hours, every day from 6pm till 10 pm and all day in weekends. What can I do about the noise
  • Hi- I own a home in Maine Joint tenants by the entirity with

    Hi- I own a home in Maine Joint tenants by the entirity with my former boyfriend. I want to buy his portion of the value and take him off the deed. He is moprtgage only as signatory with interest in property he is not the responsible party to pay the mortgage unless I stopped paying it. Do I file the same partition of real estate and ask the court to order him to take my buy out?
  • I have a deed of trust from Umpqua bank. The original note

    I have a deed of trust from Umpqua bank. The original note was $630,000 and for 10 years I have made payments on time without exception. Due to the "crash" property values decreased. The bank on its own performed an appraisal and decided to call the loan. I asked to have a copy of the appraisal but it was not shared with me unless I would pay for the appraisal. I passed on seeing the appraisal. Over the next year or so they conducted two other appraisals which I was not aware of. I received a payoff statement which included a $3,900 appraisal fee. I had paid the new lender an appraisal fee which was normal and expected but at the closing I was taken aback by the charge for the appraisal by Umpqua bank. They claim they can according to the broad attorneys fees and expenses provisions clause. I believe they are prohibited from passing along their expenses which are their cost of doing business and not due to anything I requested or even had knowledge of and was denied access to. Again there was nothing that I did to precipitate any remedial action to protect their loan from a violation of the agreement.
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