Hiring An Expert Real Estate Appraiser Helps Solidify Property Valuations
Coming into the new year, Ebert Appraisal Services, Inc. has been extremely busy assisting many local families in the Los Angeles & Ventura area. We been focusing on estate valuations, appraisals for a grandparent houses, and divorces. In addition, we continue to help with beautiful classic & dramatic architectural homes in the Pasadena & Malibu.
Numerous executors, trustees, & attorneys trying to understand the current market, help their clients by reaching out to James Ebert. The firm’s track record of helping customers make intelligent decision remains high. The current market is much more complex than previous times. We’ve been receiving more calls about our services within the last few months.
The goal of the firm is to optimize the utilization of time and impart knowledge to aid in making informed decisions. In addition, by disseminating information to pertinent parties, including family members, legal representatives, and other relevant stakeholders.
When is it time to find the right appraiser for your valuation needs? James provides four tips to follow, in this specific sequence. Of course, James Ebert from Ebert Appraisal Services, Inc. can help with all your real estate appraisal needs. The firm’s expertise helps with every customer’s important estate planning or divorce requirements.
What we’ve seen, in the field and research performed for recent clients, an appraisal can have values that are off by $10,000 or $20,000. Recently in Beverly Hills, an appraisal we performed, the valuation was $150,000 off from what the initial value was appraised. We later learned the appraisal number was obtained from Zillow. While a handy tool for some, we lean more on our real estate experience. Walking the client through the report, we were able to settle all the customer’s questions, and used the report from James for the final appraisal.
A poor appraisal report can cause even more frustration & emotional pain on top of already existing family struggles, attorneys, and the courts. Inaccurate real estate appraisal reports can cost months of delays and weeks of emotional turmoil for all involved.
The decision you make, by hiring the best real estate appraiser, can often resolve many issues, calm all parties down, and provide a strong, appraisal report that everyone can agree on.
Unnecessary Time Delays
A common frustrating factor we experience is customers deal with an inexperienced real estate appraisers. Which in turn causes time delays. In addition, another common factor we see is weak real estate appraisal reports. Recently, one local family, ready to finally sell mom’s house, had everyone in agreement to get an appraisal, but selected a cheaper local professional. Delivering the final report to the family, several members disagreed with the report and became discouraged. Hiring Ebert Appraisal Services, Inc. ended months-long family dispute. The firm’s priority was a new, agreed-upon, high-quality appraisal report with a satisfactory final assessment.
In another case, James specifically assisted a couple that had been struggling through the courts for over 2 years, trying to get their divorce finalized. Their stress level during this process became overwhelming and discouraging. Once James Ebert worked with the couple – the time delays sped up the process and resolved the issue.
There are numerous appraisers with many different levels of expertise. James aims for families to hire the best appraisers promptly and affordably, enabling a quick return to normalcy.
Here are my top three qualifications you need to get the best results: local real estate market knowledge, court and estate experience, and finally, fees and retainers.
1 – Local Real Estate Market Knowledge
One insightful aspect to help determine if a real estate appraiser is truly effective for your community, or if the appraiser is from 50 miles away, and not aware of different neighborhoods. Most communities have dramatically different neighborhoods adjacent to each other. Recently, while assisting a family with their estate, the family provided me an appraisal report to review. The real estate appraisal report had 2 out of 5 sales from a much higher value neighborhood. The family became disappointed the home’s value was less than anticipated.
Please keep in mind, whether it’s a little high or a little low, the most important element is the quality, integrity, and trust in the appraisal report. A poor report of different values causes disruption and disappointments for all involved.
Instead try this tip: Getting names of locally referred appraisers from a local agent or attorney is the best first step. The appraiser will have completed hundreds of local assignments, with a firm knowledge of the local real estate market activity. While an experienced real estate appraiser may cost a bit more, the quality, integrity of the report and ability to move forward will make appraisal worthwhile.
Some folks try to use a free agent’s BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) for very low cost. The broker’s report will not be effective. The courts and the IRS collaborate confidently with a quality appraisal from a qualified real estate appraiser.
2 – Court & Litigation Experience
The next item to review is the appraisers expertise in litigation, estates, probate, and divorce appraisals and possible courtroom work.
An experienced real estate appraiser will provide an unbiased value of the property, which is crucial during a divorce or estate valuations. Since all parties need to agree on the property value, a high quality, unbiased appraisal avoids some disputes and battles.
Aware of the high stakes involved, an appraiser will dedicate more time to research, perform a in-depth thorough inspection, and provide a more detailed, effective appraisal.
In addition, a hired appraiser should have experience and be confident in courtroom and depositions. The appraiser’s ability to testify in court and depositions saves attorney fees and accelerates proceedings.
However, note that over 80% of appraisers do not want to be in court. Even less, be examined by an opposing attorney. A more experienced appraiser, with their ability to testify in court as an expert witness, can assist in reaching a fair settlement.
An expert real estate appraiser with a good reputation and years of experience will telegraph confidence and assurance to all parties that the individual’s involved have a fair and accurate appraisal. The real estate appraiser’s expertise can be invaluable in reaching a fair settlement.
Overall, an effective experienced real estate appraiser will reduce risks and time needed during the valuation process, for executors, trustees, families, and attorneys, which will lead to faster, more efficient, and fair settlements for all parties.
3 – Fees & Retainers
The third tip we’d like to provide is to review the appraiser’s fee or retainer for the assignment.
Understanding the other 2 tips to find the best appraiser, the right local real estate appraiser & court & litigation experience, will aid in the next tip. A client should realize when working with an experienced appraiser, the assignment requires expansive work than a bank mortgage or refinance. The appraisers expenses have higher increased operating costs, due to deeper research. Appraisers have extensive comparable selection, and other elements to build and deliver a top quality ironclad appraisal report. The reports built will withstand attacks from all sides of the parties involved. Such as, other beneficiaries, opposing parties, opposing attorneys, and sometimes even a careful reading from a judge.
The appraiser’s compensation will be relatively higher when compared to the potential savings derived from mitigating the need for additional legal fees, resolving internal disputes, and other complications.
The cheapest appraiser, often times new to the industry, will not have the same local knowledge an experienced appraiser would. Also, a semi-retired appraiser will not be keeping up with the latest market trends. On the other side, the most expensive fees may be from a commercial appraiser, who may be more firepower than you need, as they work with shopping centers, office buildings, and are not truly qualified to do residential work.
Consider the professionals with fees in the top 75%-95% range. Customers will save money and time in the long run when partnering with an experienced real estate appraiser. Time, as a high quality report commands respect and allows everyone to agree on the value. Higher costs, as attorneys can easily rack up thousands of dollars while the report’s debated.
In closing, we received kind words from a local attorney, from a March 2023 court appearance. See all of our customer testimonials.
“You were amazing, thank you. We will definitely bring you on board as our expert on our other cases. The judge specifically stated that your testimony this morning was very good, seemed to be unbiased and was more credible.”
Call James For A Free Quote
We’re excited to help you appraise any of your real estate in the Los Angeles & Ventura county area. We look forward to working with you and exceeding your appraisal requirements.