Real Estate Appraisers in Massachusetts

When you’re preparing a valuation either as an appraiser, agent, or investor, you need to understand how neighboring properties affect the value of your subject, as well as how your subject impacts the value of properties in the neighborhood.

The best investment results, either as a business or homeowner, require careful due diligence to gather all the facts and observe every market factor.

Conformity

An important issue addressed in residential and commercial appraisals is conformity. Conformity refers to the similarity of properties within a neighborhood in terms of prevailing age, condition, size, style, and functional utility.

When a subdivision has a mix of architectural styles that don’t complement each other well, or differ in usage, zoning, or functional obsolescence, values tend to decrease compared to communities that exhibit greater similarity among properties.

Conformity is an important issue for investors and private lenders to consider as it can affect the long-term value and appreciation of the property. Although a potential acquisition may appear on its face to be a good deal because of a discount from retail, if the community is in the decline phase, it will experience less volume and appreciation, leading to a tough exit down the road, especially if marketed or held as a rental.

Pay attention to how local government is using its administrative powers to influence zoning, land usage, infrastructure, and note how these trends could support or detract from the potential value of your property. If you’re planning to hold your property as a rental, also consider how population growth and the health of local industry will influence demand from tenants as the community evolves.

Progression

Progression is the idea that when a community exhibits conformity and good overall conditions (c3-c4), but our subject is of lesser condition or utility, the value of the subject is greater than if it were located among properties of similar quality and characteristics.

Essentially, even though you may have a property that hasn’t been updated in 60 years, but it’s located among homes in a high-value subdivision with mostly modern designs, the subject’s value will be greater relative to a similar home in a below-median community.

The situation where you might encounter progression is when purchasing vacant land or dated homes in a luxury residential subdivision. The real cause behind progression is the increased demand for the land or the opportunity that the parcel represents. As margins can be smaller, by percentage, with HNW renovations, developers are willing to salvage as much of an original structure as possible to keep costs low and offset the premium paid, despite condition, due to progression.

Regression

Regression is the more common concern when it comes to valuations. Regression is the affect that a neighborhood with poor property conditions or low conformity will have on our subject. This frequently comes up when we have newer built or fully renovated homes or structures in an older-built community experiencing a decline phase. This also relates to the concept of diminishing returns and over-improvement.

When we’re planning our renovations, we need to keep upgrades and the overall condition and style of the property in line with the community. If we get excessive, we’ll not only likely exceed our budget, we also won’t be able to sell the property for enough to cover the unneeded expense.

The simplest way to hedge your bets is to work with valuations professionals to give you an expert third-party opinion on the value of the property. Ordering an appraisal will reduce your risk of making a decision based on an unsupported value, and the damage that can occur to your credibility in making a proposal with a faulty as-is or after-repair value.

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Real Estate Appraisers in Massachusetts

When you need an appraisal, you need it fast. There are very few instances where there’s lots of time to wait for a report. The speed and gravity of the real estate closing and investment analysis process demand prompt reports that feature intensive detail, accurate adjustments, and solid reconciliations.

As valuations play a critical role in the real estate industry, it’s important to spend some additional time evaluating the best provider for your valuation needs. Reports that are questioned or rejected by lenders and investors lead to delays in closing and lost opportunity.

Technological advancements in market/property data collection, regression modeling techniques, and project management allow modern independent appraisal firms to deliver reports unmatched by larger firms that work through a network of contracted appraisers that are often sent out of their geographic and property class area of expertise.

You might think that a fast report means the potential for errors in a hastily prepared valuation; however, speed comes not from skipping important considerations in the appraisal process, but from having an expert in-house team that acts quickly to conduct the inspection, prepare the report, and ensure accuracy.

Speeding up the Process and Delivering Quality Reports

Many businesses and individuals in the real estate market are accustomed to waiting 2-3 weeks or longer for an appraisal report. This is attributable to fact that most reports are sourced through appraisal management companies that add unnecessary delays to the process.

Working directly with local appraisers affords you greater quality and speed by eliminating the unnecessary bureaucracies inherent in large organizations that don’t retain their own appraisal staff and don’t place customer service or efficiency at the forefront of their corporate values.

Rather than casting the net wide, independent appraisers focus on understanding the Massachusetts real estate market and delivering reports that reflect the unique factors present in each submarket on the shortest time scale possible.

How to Balance Speed and Quality in a Massachusetts Appraisal

Conducting the inspection and preparing the report are only half the story. Quality control or (QC) is equally vital to ensuring that your reports are top-notch. Here the efficiency and accuracy come in utilizing SRA and MAI designated appraisers to review each and every report. Reviewers look at the market data, comparable selection, adjustments, and every detail to ensure consistency and that the conclusions are rational and well-supported.

But it goes further: is the report professional in appearance? Is everything grammatically correct? Do the subject and comparable photos show the pertinent details to accurately assess condition, location, and functional utility? Does the report give you a complete picture of all the internal and external factors that influence the value of the property?

All of these aspects of a valuation are critical to ensure the legitimacy of the report, guarantee accuracy, and positively reflect on your organization (if you’re ordering as a business). Poorly prepared reports not only damage the credibility of the client when forwarded to lenders and investors, but also can cause real financial and liability issues if at a later point the value is discovered to be erroneous.

If you’re a homeowner or investor that’s ordering a report on your own behalf, the same considerations apply, but often the stakes are higher. When you’re crossing your fingers, hoping for a smooth closing, it’s best to partner with appraisers that are part of your community and place not only the quality and speed of the report as priorities, but also excellent customers service and the willingness to stand by their work, answer every concern, and make prompt revisions where needed.

For personal and business valuation customers alike, spending a little extra time researching local appraisal firms, reading their reviews, and asking questions about their process and follow-up support will ensure that your transaction has a positive outcome in the short and long term.

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Home Appraisal Ma

Probably the most common issue we hear with appraisals is the amount and type of adjustments. Homeowners, agents, and lenders alike tend to question reports and ask questions about the amount of adjustments.

Condition, location, closing/contract date, and features are given a lot of attention for the amount of adjustments. If you’re involved with the real estate business, you know how much scrutiny appraisals and their preparers get for valuations that come in lower than expected.

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Home Appraisal Ma

One of the toughest things in the process of buying a property for investment is determining how much the property is worth now and what it could be valued at if fully repaired for lease or resale.

Which is more difficult to determine, as-is or as-repaired (also called ARV or After Repair Value)? You might think that estimating the as-is value is the easier task, but it’s somewhat more complicated than assessing the ARV.

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