RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC is prepared to handle any inquiries you might have about appraisals or real estate in Horry County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

Describe an appraisal
Describe what an appraiser does
Why would a person require services from RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC?
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?
What does the appraisal report contain?
After completing the appraisal, how can I have assurance that the value indicated is veritable?
What goes into an appraiser's certification?
Who do appraisers work for?
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Horry County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
How do I get ready for the appraiser?
What is "Market Value?"
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?



Describe an appraisal   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraiser provides an evaluation that generates an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser will typically use a several "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of the three is the Cost Approach - which is how much capital would be required to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, then adding the land value. The most common approach in figuring the value of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with concluding a comparison to similar homes nearby. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most accurate and clearest indicator of a liklely sales price for a house. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the most important method in appraising income producing properties - it involves estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.

Describe what an appraiser does   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraiser provides a professional, unbiased opinion of market value, in the support of real estate transactions. Appraisers show their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.


Why would a person require services from RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC?   (See list of FAQ's)

There are a lot of reasons to get an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for ordering an report include:
  • If you are applying for a loan.
  • To lower your property taxes.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove PMI.
  • To fight improperly assessed property taxes.
  • To handle an estate.
  • To provide you a leg-up when purchasing real estate.
  • To determine the most probable property value when putting your home on the market.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS require an appraisal on every house.
  • It's possible you could be involved in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
Click here for a more extensive explanation of the process about getting an appraisal.


Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?   (See list of FAQ's)

The appraiser is not a home inspector and he or she does not do a comprehensive home inspection. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the livable structure and mechanical systems of a property, from the roof to the foundation. Usually, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the requirements of the house: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical systems, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural integrity of the home such as the attic, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.

What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?   (See list of FAQ's)

Frankly, it's like comparing opera to country. What the CMA relies upon are ill-defined trends. The appraisal is reliant on specific verifiable comparable sales. The appraisal report will also contain area and construction values. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

But the most significant factor is the person creating the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, South Carolina licensed professional who made a career on valuing real estate in and around Horry County is behind the appraisal. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no vested interest in the value conclusion, unlike the agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.

What does the appraisal report contain?   (See list of FAQ's)

The main point of an appraisal report 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:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • The intended use of the report.
  • The purpose of the assignment.
  • The type of value contained and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the value opinion.(Sometimes this is in the past or maybe the future for new construction!)
  • Relevant property characteristics, including: location, physical description, legal attributes, economic attributes, the property rights in question, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible items.
  • All 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 job.
For a more comprehensive view of all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


After completing the appraisal, how can I have assurance that the value indicated is veritable?   (See list of FAQ's)

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

  • Whether individually or collectively, there were no critical errors contained in the appraisal, nor any relevant details left out.

  • That appraisal services were not conducted in a careless or negligent fashion.

  • The final appraisal report was transparent, credible and defensible.
There are intense classroom and on the job experience requirements that must be satisfied in order to become a licensed appraiser in South Carolina. Plus, appraisers must abide by a stringent industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for carrying out an appraisal and documenting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (See list of FAQ's) Licensing and certification takes classroom study, tests and experience working under a supervisor. Once an appraiser is 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 do appraisers work for?   (See list of FAQ's)

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, needing their services to ensure a home 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 an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Horry County or other areas?   (See list of FAQ's)

Collecting data is one of the main tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is received from a many sources. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property is in a flood zone, so that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood service.

And last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other houses in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraisal is a valuable tool anytime your home's value is relevant to some financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine a price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC is the best way 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.


My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?   (See list of FAQ's)

PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI takes care of the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price 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 mortgage payment include a fee for PMI?Call RELIABLE APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC today at 8434576602 or send us an e-mail. Documentation of your home's present value could save you thousands.

How do I get ready for the appraiser?   (See list of FAQ's)

The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. 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 condition of its amenities. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can access things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

To help expedite our work plus ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:
  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available).
  • Information on any written private agreements, such as a shared driveway with a neighbor.
  • Title policy that lists encroachments or easements.
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, your septic system and wells.
  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, in the event of a pending sale.

What is "Market Value?"   (See list of FAQ's)

In real estate appraising, 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."



Who has rights to the appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

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 report - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.

It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these cases, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?   (See list of FAQ's)

It really depends on the market. 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 best ROI 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 are right up there with kitchens, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also boost the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become atypical for your neighborhood in terms of size.