FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Borrower

1. What condition should my house be in for the appraisal inspection?
We can appraise houses in any condition, but keep in mind that any needed repairs will adversely affect the current "as-is" market value. Don't worry about having your house completely clean and neat, as we are focusing on the house and the site, not on your personal belongings.

2. How long does an appraisal take? Answer:
The inspection takes about 30 minutes for one story houses. After that the research and analysis of comparable sales typically takes 2 days.

3. What does the appraisal inspection consist of?
The appraiser measures the exterior walls of the house and outbuildings, takes photographs of various exterior views. Then, the appraiser views each interior room and photographs some or all of them. Some additional inspections and functional checks are done for FHA loans.

4. Does real estate always increase in value?
In central Alabama real estate has appreciated from 3% to 7% per year. Recently the appreciation rate has slowed and possibly stabilized, but we have not seen a decrease in values.

5. Should I expect my property to be appraised for more than the last time it was appraised?
Your last appraisal may or may not have been accurate. While most appraisers are honest and competent we have observed questionable practices by some appraisers who consistently overstate values. This unfortunately raises the expectations of homeowners beyond what the market would indicate. If you were unfortunate in a previous appraisal that overstated the value, then it is possible that our appraisal could indicate a lower value than the prior appraisal.

Also, especially for unusual properties or in small markets, there may be so few comparable sales available that it becomes difficult to discern what the real market value is. Honest, competent appraisers could arrive at widely varying opinions of value. In that case, it is possible that a prior appraisal could have been on the high side of the range of legitimate values and the next appraisal could be in the middle or on the low side of the range. This could result in the later appraisal coming in lower than the earlier appraisal, even though the market is stable or increasing.

6. Can I get a copy of the appraisal?
Yes. By law the borrower is entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal, if requested from the lender in writing within 90 days. The copy must be obtained from the lender and not from the appraiser. The lender may require the borrower to reimburse the lender for the cost of the appraisal.

7. What if don't agree with the appraised value?
We base the appraised value on recent market activity (mainly sales and current listings). The most productive way of having an appraisal reconsidered is to provide comparable sales which we may not have known about.

Lender

1. What payment methods do you accept?
We accept business checks, personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, cash, and direct deposit.

2. What areas do you cover?
We cover the following counties: Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Dallas (Selma only), Lee, and Russell (Phenix City, Seale, and Fort Mitchell only).

3. What is your turn time?
Depending on our current workload, we typically complete appraisals in 2 to 4 business days from the order date. In our busiest times we may quote as long as one week but we will still strive to complete the assignments as quickly as possible. In some cases we can expedite service to 1 to 2 business days for a rush fee.

4. Do you do comp checks?
We do in a very limited sense. For properties that are located in areas with plenty of nearby similar sales we will check comps as time permits. For most properties in our coverage area we will not be able to do comp checks.

5. What good is an appraisal that doesn't enable the loan to be closed?
For most people their home is their largest investment. Knowing the market value of that investment is helpful to any home owner who wants to manage their finances and plan wisely for their financial future.

6. Do you have E&O insurance?
Yes.

7. How many appraisers do you have?
We have four certified appraisers and one trainee appraiser.