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Fuller Partners Appraisals, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Fuller Partners Appraisals, LLC is always ready to answer any concerns you might have about appraisals or real estate in Nashville and Davidson County. Feel free to contact us today.

What is an appraisal?
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to request your services?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?
What's in an appraisal report?
Once the appraisal has been delivered, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is legitimate?
How are appraisers certified?
Who are an appraiser's customers?
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Davidson County or other areas?
What can a full appraisal do for me?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal inspection
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?
Who actually owns the appraisal report?
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?



What is an appraisal?   (See list of FAQ's)

The procedure of performing an appraisal report consists of an evaluation which leads to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which helps the real estate appraiser arrive at this opinion or estimate. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, minus age and physical dilapidation, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in figuring the value of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with concluding a comparison to comparable homes nearby. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a property. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is generally used to find the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.

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

An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers illustate their conclusions in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to request your services?   (See list of FAQ's)

There are a lot of reasons to order an appraisal from Fuller Partners Appraisals, LLC with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
  • If you are applying for a loan.
  • If you would like to lower your property tax burden.
  • To show a homeowner has 30% equity and remove PMI.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • If you need to settle an estate.
  • To provide you a negotiating tool when purchasing a home.
  • To figure out a likely sales price when selling your home.
  • To protect your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS need an appraisal on every home.
  • If you ever find yourself in a lawsuit.
If you need more information regarding the appraisal process, please click here.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?   (See list of FAQ's)

The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a full home inspection. A third-party home inspector will inspect the structure of the home, from the roof to the foundation. The stereotypical home inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home's heating systems, 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.

What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?   (See list of FAQ's)

Honestly, they share nothing in common. The CMA depends on indistinct trends in the market. An appraisal is based on comparable sales that can be proven by records. The appraisal report will also include neighborhood and building prices. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.

The person creating the report is frankly the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or have specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, Tennessee licensed professional who made their livelihood on valuing real estate in and around Davidson County is behind the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent party, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the value of the home.

What's in an appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

The main point 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, one will customarily see the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The reason for the appraisal.
  • The type of value contained and a definition of that value.
  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.(Sometimes this is in the past or maybe the future for new construction!)
  • Pertinent property characteristics, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic factors, the real property interest in question, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, trade fixtures and even intangible factors.
  • Any known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and other items of a similar nature.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • The scope of work used to complete the appraisal.
For a more in depth look at the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the appraisal has been delivered, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is legitimate?   (See list of FAQ's)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
  • The appraisal used an appropriate analysis of the information.

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

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

  • That a solid, substantiated appraisal report was communicated.
There are rigorous education and real world experience requirements that must be met in order to achieve the title of "licensed appraiser" in Tennessee. Likewise, appraisers must stick to a meticulous industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The guidelines for carrying out an appraisal and reporting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (See list of FAQ's) Licensing and certification is achieved through coursework, tests and practical experience. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she is required to complete continuing education courses so the license remains up to date. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

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

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requesting their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.

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

Compiling information is one of the primary occupations of an appraiser. Data can be divided into Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is received from a numerous sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. To verify actual sales prices, we look at tax records and other public documents. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.

And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other properties 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. When selling your house, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided 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.


What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?   (See list of FAQ's)

PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional policy covers the lender in the event a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the house is less than what is owed 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.

Has your real estate appreciated since you first purchased? Call Fuller Partners Appraisals, LLC today at 6154771921 to see if you can save money by removing your Private Mortgage Insurance premium.

Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal inspection   (See list of FAQ's)

We begin 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. On the inside, make sure we can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.

The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
  • Any information on the purchase of the property for the last three years.
  • List of personal property to be sold with the building.
  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.
  • A list of any major home improvements and enhancements, the date of their installation and their cost (for example, the addition of central air conditioning or roof repairs) and permit confirmation (if available).
  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, if the sale is "pending", the purchase agreement.

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

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 actually owns the appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

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 appraisal - it's usually included 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 engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these scenarios, the appraiser may stipulate how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


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

Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. 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

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%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.