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Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC is ready to handle any questions you might have about appraisals in Seymour and New Haven County. Contact Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC today to talk about how we can help you with your specific valuation problems.

Define the term "Appraisal"
Describe what an appraiser does
Why would I request services from Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC?
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What are the contents of an appraisal report?
Once the assignment has been completed, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is valid?
How hard is it to become certified?
Who are an appraiser's customers?
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in New Haven County or other areas?
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
Does the appraiser need anything from the homeowner in advance?
What does "Market Value" mean?
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Which home renovations add the most to the price?



Define the term "Appraisal"   (List of questions)

An appraisal is an estimation leading to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the appraiser conclude this opinion or estimate. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, less the depreciation and physical deterioration, adding the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns finding a comparison to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a residential property. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is generally used to determine the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the capital produced by the building.

Describe what an appraiser does   (List of questions)

An appraiser offers a fair and credible assessment of market value, often in the context of a real estate exchange. Appraisers demonstrate their investigation in appraisal reports.


Why would I request services from Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC?   (List of questions)

There are a lot of reasons to purchase an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an report include:
  • To obtain a loan.
  • If you would like to reduce your property tax burden.
  • To build a case for a homeowner's equity and remove Primary Mortgage Insurance.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • If you need to settle an estate.
  • To give you an edge when purchasing a home.
  • To determine a likely price 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 home.
  • If you ever find yourself in a lawsuit.
For a more extensive explanation of the appraisal process click here.


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

Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. A third-party home inspector will investigate the structure of the home, from the roof to the bottom. The general property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the house's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and accessible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?   (List of questions)

Frankly, they share nothing in common. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. The appraisal is based on similar proven comparable sales. Also, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, area and replacement costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

But the largest differentiator is who's doing the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, state licensed professional who bases a career on valuing properties in and around New Haven County creates the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a previously agreed upon sum for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.

What are the contents of an appraisal report?   (List of questions)

Every appraisal must reflect a believable value opinion and will clearly state the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • The intended use of the appraisal.
  • The purpose of the appraisal.
  • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • The effective date of the appraisal.
  • Relevant property characteristics, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights in question, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, trade fixtures and even intangible factors.
  • 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.
  • What was entailed in the process of completing the assignment.
For a more comprehensive view of the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the assignment has been completed, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is valid?   (List of questions)

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal used analysis of the data.

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

  • That appraisal services were done in a careful and judicious fashion.

  • That a credible, substantiated appraisal report was conferred.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are extensive education requirements as well as experience that must be attained - all with the objective of being able to render unbiased value opinions. In addition, appraisers must follow a strict industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The guidelines for working up an appraisal and documenting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (List of questions) Licensing and certification is achieved through classroom study, tests and practical experience. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she must then complete continuing education courses so that the license doesn't expire. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who are an appraiser's customers?   (List of questions)

Typically, appraisers are employed by lenders to estimate the value of property involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the subject is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.

Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in New Haven County or other areas?   (List of questions)

One of the primary things an appraiser does is to collect data. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.

General data is collected from a variety of places. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", we typically go to the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we research tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Appraisers routinely have 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 last but not least, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?   (List of questions)

Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine the 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. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided evenly. A home 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 covers the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is less than what is owed on the loan. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.

The savings from dropping your PMI pays for the appraisal in a matter of months. Nobody is more qualified than Cadore Appraisal Group, LLC when it comes to analyzing real estate appreciation in Seymour and New Haven County. Contact us today.

Does the appraiser need anything from the homeowner in advance?   (List of questions)

We start with an inspection of the home. 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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any landscaping and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can easily access appliances like furnaces and water heaters.

To help speed things along plus ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:
  • Information on the latest purchase of the property in the last three years.
  • Title policy that lists encroachments or easements.
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and your well.
  • A list of any major home improvements and enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of Insulation or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • Most recent real estate tax bill and or legal description of the property.

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

In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair 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 orders 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 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.

This rule doesn't apply when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


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 investment. 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 weren't far behind, returning 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.