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Cart Appraisal Services has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Cart Appraisal Services is prepared to reply to any concerns you might have about appraisals or real estate in Tulsa County. Feel free to contact us today.

Describe an appraisal
Describe what an appraiser does
What are the reasons someone would need a real estate appraisal?
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What are the contents of an appraisal report?
After completing the appraisal, how can I have a guarantee that the final number is trustworthy?
How hard is it to become certified?
Who hires an appraiser?
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Tulsa 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?
Does the appraiser need anything from me in advance?
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?



Describe an appraisal   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraisal is an estimation that concludes with an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser will typically use a several "approaches," typically three, to draw up the estimation of market value. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which finds what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, less the age and physical deterioration, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves searching for similar properties in close proximity and finding value based on comparing those prior sales to the property in question. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most precise and best indicator of market value for a residential property. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best 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 fair and credible determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers illustate their expert analysis in appraisal reports.


What are the reasons someone would need a real estate appraisal?   (See list of FAQ's)

There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from Cart Appraisal Services with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:
  • To obtain a loan.
  • To lower your property taxes.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove PMI.
  • To challenge inflated property taxes.
  • If you need to settle an estate.
  • To offer you a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.
  • To determine the most probable property value when selling real estate.
  • To protect your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • Because an official agency such as the IRS requires it.
  • It's possible you could have to deal with being in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
If you need a more detailed explanation of the appraisal process, please click here.


How is an appraisal different than a home inspection?   (See list of FAQ's)

Home inspectors do not estimate an opinion of value and are not appraisers. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the property, from the top to the foundation. The general house inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the property's heating system, 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.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (See list of FAQ's)

Frankly, it's like comparing opera to country. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. An appraisal utilizes comparable sales that can be validated by public record. The appraisal report will also contain location and construction prices. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.

But the biggest difference is who's creating the report. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. 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 accept a previously agreed upon fee for assignments, regardless of their outcome.

What are the contents of an appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

The main objective of an appraisal report is to provide a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of that value.
  • The effective date of the appraisal.
  • Relevant property attributes, including: location, physical description, legal attributes, economic attributes, the property rights valued, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible considerations.
  • Any 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 used while working up the appraisal.
For a more in depth view of the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


After completing the appraisal, how can I have a guarantee that the final number is trustworthy?   (See list of FAQ's)

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
  • That the information analysis utilized 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 rendered in a careless or negligent fashion.

  • That a trustworthy, defensible appraisal report was imparted.
There are rigorous classroom and real world experience requirements that must be fulfilled in order to get an appraisal license in Oklahoma. In addition, appraisers must follow a strict industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The tenets for working up an appraisal and reporting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (See list of FAQ's) Regulations regarding licensing and certification are different from state to state. In general, licensing and certification is commonly associated with many hours of coursework, tests and practical experience. Once licensed, he or she is required to complete continuing education courses in order to keep the license up to date. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who hires an appraiser?   (See list of FAQ's)

Typically, appraisers are called upon by lenders to render a value opinion on real estate involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the real estate is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.

Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Tulsa County or other areas?   (See list of FAQ's)

Compiling data is one of the main things an appraiser does. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is received from a numerous sources. To look up recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.

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


What can a full appraisal do for me?   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraisal is a worthwhile anytime your home's value is pertinent to a 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. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Cart Appraisal Services is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up fairly. Simply put, 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 the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added policy takes care of the lender if a borrower defaults 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.

The money you keep from dropping your PMI pays for the appraisal in no time. Cart Appraisal Services stays current with real estate value trends in Tulsa and Tulsa County. Contact us today.

Does the appraiser need anything from me in advance?   (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 features. 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 bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

To help expedite our work as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance easement for a shared driveway.
  • Any paperwork, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
  • Information on "Homeowners Associations" or condominium covenants and fees.
  • Brag sheet that lists major home improvements and enhancements, the amount of their purchase and date of their installation (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • A list of "suggested" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?   (See list of FAQ's)

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."



Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?   (See list of FAQ's)

In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 situations, 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.


How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?   (See list of FAQ's)

The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local market. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want

As a rule, the most value returned from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms were second, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.