JC Reynolds Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

JC Reynolds Appraisals is willing to talk to you about any concerns you might have about appraisals in Dallas/Ft Worth and the surrounding counties. Contact us today to talk about how we can help solve your specific valuation problems.

Describe an appraisal
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to need your services?
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What does the appraisal report contain?
Once the appraisal has been delivered, how can I have confidence that the value conclusion is accurate?
What goes into an appraiser's certification?
Who engages the services of appraisers?
Where does JC Reynolds Appraisals get the data used to estimate values in Dallas County or other areas?
What can a full appraisal do for me?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment
What does "Market Value" mean?
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Which home renovations add the most to the price?



Describe an appraisal   (List of questions)

The appraisal process is an evaluation that produces an opinion of value. The appraiser must use a few "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to restore the improvements to the property, less the age and physical deterioration, adding the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with making a comparison to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best method in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the money produced by the property.

What does an appraiser do?   (List of questions)

An appraiser offers a fair and credible assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers present their professional investigation in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to need your services?   (List of questions)

There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from JC Reynolds Appraisals with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for purchasing an appraisal report include:
  • If you are applying for a loan.
  • To lower your tax burden.
  • To build a case for a homeowner's equity and remove PMI.
  • To challenge improperly assessed property taxes.
  • To settle an estate.
  • To provide you a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.
  • To determine an honest 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 home.
  • If you ever find yourself in a civil case.
If you need more information regarding the appraisal process, please click here.


Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?   (List of questions)

The appraiser is not a home inspector nor does he/she do a full home inspection. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from foundation to top. The usual home inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the condition of the house's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (List of questions)

Frankly, they have nothing in common. The CMA depends on vague local market trends. The appraisal is based on similar definite comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, area and building prices. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.

The credentials of the person creating the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. 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, state licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing properties in and around Dallas County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no conditional interest in the value conclusion, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.

What does the appraisal report contain?   (List of questions)

Each appraisal should indicate a credible estimate of value and should identify the following:
  • The client and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • The effective date of the appraisal.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical characteristics, legal attributes, economic attributes, the real property interest valued, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, items that are more or less permanently installed and even intangible considerations.
  • All known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and the like.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • The scope of work considered to complete the job.
For a more in depth view of the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the appraisal has been delivered, how can I have confidence that the value conclusion is accurate?   (List of questions)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
  • The appraisal used a suitable analysis of the information.

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

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

  • The final appraisal report was transparent, legitimate and not easily discredited.
To become a state licensed appraiser, we must fulfill extensive education and experience requirements that train us to produce an unbiased opinion. In addition, appraisers must abide by a strict industry code of ethics and observe national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for working up an appraisal and documenting its results are guaranteed by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (List of questions) Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers are different from state to state. However, licensing and certification is commonly associated with many hours of classroom study, tests and practical experience. Once licensed, he or she is required to take 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?   (List of questions)

Most of the time, appraisers are called upon by lenders to render a value opinion on a home involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the subject is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.

Where does JC Reynolds Appraisals get the data used to estimate values in Dallas County or other areas?   (List of questions)

Compiling data is one of the primary things an appraiser performs. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser while on site.

General data is collected from a many places. To find out about recent sales to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often go to the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, so that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


What can a full appraisal do for me?   (List of questions)

An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value is pertinent to some financial decision. When selling your home, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from JC Reynolds Appraisals is the best way to ensure assets are split up evenly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.


My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?   (List of questions)

PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI protects the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the house is less than what the borrower still owes on the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.

Is PMI something increasing your monthly house payment?Call JC Reynolds Appraisals today at (469) 444-2375 or send us an e-mail. A new appraisal could save you thousands.

Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment   (List of questions)

The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. During this process, we will come to your home and measure it, determine the layout of the rooms inside, confirm all aspects of the home's general condition, and take several photos of your house for inclusion in the report. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can get to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

You can make our visit 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 available).
  • Any paperwork, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
  • Any "Homeowners Associations" agreements or, if applicable, condo covenants or fees .
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.

What does "Market Value" mean?   (List of questions)

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?   (List of questions)

For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled 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 cases, the appraiser may stipulate 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.


Which home renovations add the most to the price?   (List of questions)

A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, if you live in a cold region, insulated windows can be a real plus. But they aren't as attractive in a warm-weather climate.

No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. 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, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also increase the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become atypical for your neighborhood in terms of size.