Real Estate Appraisals

Appraisal Services

What is an Appraisal?

1. Impartial analysis and evaluation conducted according to established criteria to determine the acceptability, merit, or worth of an item.
2. Evaluation by a qualified appraiser to (1) assess the current market value of a property, (2) estimate the extent of damage to an insured property and cost of repairs, or (3) determine if a total loss occurred. A written appraisal is usually a key requirement when a property is bought, sold, insured, or mortgaged. It is required also when a claim is filed for compensation for damage or destruction of the insured property. See also appraisal value.
3. An alternative term for valuation.

Types of Appraisals

Pre-listing
Pre-purchase
Tax assessment
Estate settlement – Estate Planning/Probate/Date of Death
Financial planning, trusts etc.
Divorce
Bankruptcy –

Bankruptcy Appraisal

Local attorneys report that most trustees overseeing chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies will accept a simple broker’s opinion of value (BPO) or even a Zestimate.This means chances are you will not be required to get an actual real estate appraisal which helps keep your overall costs down and expedite the process; however, you should understand when it may be appropriate to obtain an appraisal.

Appraisals are sometimes necessary when determining the secured status of a claim under section 506(a) and (b) of the bankruptcy code, or when avoiding a judicial lien under section 522(f).

Under section 506, a secured claim (e.g. a mortgage, an equity line or a tax lien) is only secured to the extent of the value of the property.  For example, a house with a first mortgage balance of $400,000 and a second mortgage balance of $50,000 that is worth only $385,000. An appraisal would be used to make the case that the second mortgage is unsecured, and therefore its lien can be removed and it is treated as a general unsecured claim, which is much lower on the pecking order.

There are many nuances and caveats to how this works, but generally, an appraisal is only necessary where value is likely to be in real dispute. This is when you or your attorney needs to hire the services of an experienced professional real estate appraiser to estimate the fair market value of home.

According to local attorneys, Judges will not accept a Zestimate or BPO for something like this even where the creditor does not object.  This is likely due to the fact that BPOs are not considered accurate enough for federally secured mortgages (FNMA) and Zillow publishes its own comparison of actual sales prices vs. their Zestimates which reveals an alarming rate of inaccuracy.

That said, in cases where the value makes a difference, having a qualified appraiser who can give clear testimony can be extremely important.   The appraisal should include a well-supported, professional report that is defensible in court. State and Federal laws require that the appraiser and the appraisal process must be independent from any influence, coercion or pressure. This ensures that the appraiser remains a truly independent third party.

In many cases the date of the “current value” differs from the actual inspection date of the appraisal.  This requires a retrospective appraisal with an “effective date” and value estimate corresponding to the bankruptcy filing or some other relevant date in the past, depending on the case. Our team of certified and experienced appraisers at Aladdin Appraisal has considerable experience dealing with the complexities of assessing the value of a property under these difficult circumstances.

Our approach:

A bankruptcy is usually one of the most upsetting and difficult times in a person’s life. we understand the need to handle these situations with the utmost care and will work hard to provide you with the best possible experience.  We are bound by the ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) which means you are assured the highest level of confidentiality, guaranteeing you the utmost discretion. In addition, we provide you with a comprehensive appraisal report that meets or exceeds requirements of the courts, IRS and other various agencies.

By working with Licensed Appraiser Aladdin Appraisal rest assured that you will get the best in professional service and courtesy, while also receiving the highest quality appraisal reports.  Our Senior Staff Licensed Appraiser, Adam Wiener, CRA will complete or personally review your appraisal.  Our extensive experience includes dealing with local and prestigious law firms in the Greater Boston area.  We welcome your telephone call or email and invite you to ask any questions you might have about the process.

Condemnation
Bail bond
Tax Appeal Services

Tax Assessment Appeals

If you are a Massachusetts property owner and believe you are paying more than your fair share of property taxes you only have a limited amount of time to appeal, depending on your city or town.  There are three actions available to you.

 

1. Discuss your assessment with your local assessor.
2. Apply for a tax abatement at your local assessor’s office.
3. If denied, you can appeals for tax assessment to the appellate tax board.

They will not accept a Broker’s Price Opinion or Zestimate.  This is due to the fact that BPOs are not considered accurate enough for federally secured mortgages (FNMA) and Zillow publishes its own comparison of actual sales prices vs. their Zestimates which reveals an alarming rate of inaccuracy.

Most successful appeals require an appraisal done by a licensed real estate appraiser, who will provide an expert opinion of the fair market  value. (MA law provides that the fair market value of property is the price on which a willing seller would sell the property to a willing buyer in an arm’s-length sale if neither party was under compulsion and each was aware of all relevant facts.  See Boston Gas Co. v. Assessors of Boston, 334 Mass. 549 (1956).)

State and Federal laws require that the appraiser and the appraisal process must be independent from any influence, coercion or pressure. This ensures that the appraiser remains a truly independent third party.  The appraisal should include a well-supported, professional report that is defensible in court.  Therefore selecting a qualified licensed real estate appraiser who, if needed,  can also give clear testimony  can be extremely important.

It is equally important that you hire an appraiser experienced in Retrospective appraisals. That is because the effective date of value of your appraisal must match the effective date used at the time of your assessment.  Did you know that the  law provides that property must be valued as of the January 1st that preceded the fiscal year at issue?  For example, for fiscal year 2014, which runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, the valuation date is January 1, 2013.

Our Approach: When you hire us for an assessment appeal, you’re commissioning us as an independent, third-party to perform a professional appraisal report. As such, we do our own evaluation from beginning to end. If you’re correct that your property has been overvalued our independent report will be more persuasive than any other evidence you can provide on your own. But once again it does depend on our ability to do the work independently.

Appraisers are prohibited by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)  from accepting an appraisal assignment  subject to hitting a desired value. Nor are we allowed to take any research or other shortcuts.  We are also bound by the ethical provisions within USPAP which guarantees our customers the highest level of confidentiality and discretion. In addition, we provide you with comprehensive appraisal reports that meet or exceed requirements of the IRS, courts and other various agencies.

Working with Aladdin Appraisal rest assured that you will get the best in professional service and courtesy, while also receiving the highest quality appraisal reports. Our team of exceptional appraisers will be discreet and respect and protect your family’s privacy.   And if necessary Aladdin Appraisal stands behinds its appraisals and value estimates should matters advance to the need for testimony.

Our Senior Staff Licensed Appraiser, Adam Wiener, CRA will complete or personally review your appraisal. Our extensive experience includes dealing with local and prestigious law firms in the Greater Boston area. We welcome your telephone inquiries and invite your questions about our process.

Elder care (Medicaid entitlement, etc.)
Lender Related – REO/Review
Third party ERC/Relo
PMI elimination
By-court-appointment
LLC transfer
Insurance Purposes Replacement cost for insurance
Guardianship/Conservatorship
Pre-foreclosure/Short Sale
FSBO
Property Flippers/Remodel before and after
401K planning
IRS/Gifting

Rush and Super Rush Service

RUSH and SUPER RUSH services are available for most of our appraisals. Please understand that not all properties are eligible for this service and our existing commitments may limit our ability to provide the rush service for you.

Our RUSH service guarantees that your appraisal report is electronically delivered to you within 48 hours of the property inspection (including holidays and weekends) and typically adds a 25% charge to our normal appraisal fee.

Our SUPER-RUSH service guarantees that your appraisal report is electronically delivered to you within 24 hours of the property inspection (including holidays and weekends) and typically adds a 50% charge to our normal appraisal fee.

Keep in mind that you have o disclose any unusual circumstances when ordering a rush service, such as damage, differing actual living area than public records, views, etc. Give us a call today with any questions you might have.