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Barnes Appraisal Service has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Barnes Appraisal Service is ready to address any inquiries you might have about appraisals in Owasso and Tulsa County. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your specific valuation problems.

Define the term "Appraisal"
What does an appraiser do?
Why would a person need services from Barnes Appraisal Service?
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What does the appraisal report contain?
After completing the appraisal, how can I have a guarantee that the value indicated is trustworthy?
What goes into an appraiser's certification?
Who do appraisers work for?
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?
Define "Market Value"
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?



Define the term "Appraisal"   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraisal report is an estimation that concludes with an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is found through the use of a formal process that usually uses three "common approaches to value". One of the methods is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, less physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which involves discovering a comparable analysis to other similar properties within a close proximity which have recently sold. The Sales Comparison Approach is commonly the most definitive and best indicator of value for a home. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is generally used to figure the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.

What does an appraiser do?   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraiser forumlates an impartial and well supported assessment of market value, in the support of real property exchanges. Appraisers reveal the details of their professional analysis in appraisal reports.


Why would a person need services from Barnes Appraisal Service?   (See list of FAQ's)

There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from Barnes Appraisal Service with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for purchasing an appraisal report include:
  • To obtain a loan.
  • To reduce your property taxes.
  • To help a homeowner realize if they owe less than 80% of their home's value and remove insurance.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • If you need to take care of an estate.
  • To offer you a negotiating tool when purchasing a home.
  • To find the most probable sales price when putting your home on the market.
  • 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.
  • If you are ever involved in a civil case.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of the process about getting an appraisal.


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

Home inspectors do not figure out an opinion of value and are not appraisers. The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from bottom to top. Generally, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the requirements of the home: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, visible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.

My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?   (See list of FAQ's)

Frankly, it's like comparing broadband and dial-up. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. An appraisal is based on comparable sales that can be validated by records. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, location and building costs. 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.

But the biggest difference is the person behind 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. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living 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 flat fee for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.

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

The main objective 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:
  • The client and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The purpose of the appraisal.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the appraisal.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical description, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights valued, and non-real estate items included in the appraisal, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations 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 when completing the job.
For a more detailed look at all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


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

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal contained a suitable analysis of the data.

  • Whether individually or collectively, there were no major errors contained in the report, nor any material details left out.

  • That appraisal services were delivered in a careful and conscientious manner.

  • The final appraisal report was clear, sound and defensible.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are education requirements as well as practical experience that must be logged - all with the objective of being able to provide unbiased value opinions. Likewise, appraisers must follow a stringent industry code of ethics and observe national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for developing 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 vary from state to state. However, licensing and certification is most often associated with many hours of classroom study, tests and real world experience. 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 typical client, using their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.

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

Gathering data is one of the primary tasks an appraiser does. Data can be divided into Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser while on site.

General data is gathered from a variety of places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we look at tax records and other public documents. Appraisers often need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, and that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And most importantly, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other houses in the same market.


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

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. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Barnes Appraisal Service is the best way to ensure assets are divided evenly. 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 short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplemental policy takes care of the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the house 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.

Has your real estate appreciated since you first purchased? Contact Barnes Appraisal Service today at (918) 688-5825. You may be able to cancel your Private Mortgage Insurance payment.

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 status of its amenities. The best thing you can do to help is make sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any bushes and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure we can easily access appliances like furnaces and water heaters.

You can make things go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
  • A plot plan or survey of the house and land (if readily available).
  • A list of any personal property that will be left behind and sold with the home, such as an oven, or a washer and dryer, if applicable.
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, septic systems and your well.
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
  • A list of "suggested" improvements when the property is being appraised "as complete".

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."



Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

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

The exception to this rule is when a home owner hires an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?   (See list of FAQ's)

This really depends on where the home is. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.

No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. 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 weren't far behind, yielding 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 an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.