Hiring an Appraiser When Title Transfers (Sacramento Region)

papa-001aWhenever title transfers on a deed, a real estate appraisal is usually needed. Situations like the death of a loved one, inheritance of property, divorce, refinance, estate settlement, and buyout of other persons on title warrant a credible real estate appraisal so that decisions can be made about the property. 

Tips for Hiring an Appraiser for a Title Transfer Situation:

  • Make sure the appraiser knows the real estate market where the property is located. This is key toward producing a reliable appraisal. It’s okay to ask the appraiser questions about his/her experience.
  • Help the appraiser understand why the appraisal is needed. Did you inherit property? Are your elderly parents moving and title is transferring to you? Was there a death in the family? Is there a divorce or break-up in progress? The appraiser is bound to confidentiality and cannot by law share your situation with others.
  • Inform the appraiser what type of value is needed. An experienced appraiser will be able to easily figure this out with you in just a couple of minutes of conversation. Is this a market value as of today’s date or do you need an appraisal based upon a previous date? For example, in estate settlement appraisals, it is common for the appraisal to be based upon the date which title was transferred in the past or the date of death of the loved one. This is called a “retrospective value”.
  • If you are a home owner working with an attorney and it would be easiest on you for the appraiser to work directly with the attorney, that’s definitely doable. I see it work out either way and I defer to whatever the client needs and prefers.
  • Remember that the lowest-priced fees for appraisals usually produce the lowest-quality of work (my fees are very reasonable). The last thing you want is for an unreliable appraisal to get in the way of what you are trying to accomplish with a transfer of title.

If you have any questions about the information above or would like to talk more, feel free to call me at 916-595-3735, see my company website at www.lundquistcompany.com or email me at ryan [at] lundquistcompany [dot] com.  I am available to help you in your time of need and I am glad to speak with you about your situation.

Estate Settlement Real Estate Appraisals (Sacramento Region)

victorianpicThis is one of those things that many of us may not know much about until we actually experience personally. My hope in this entry is to offer a bit of insight into the process of estate settlement as it pertains to real estate valuation.

How it Works: When an estate has a transfer of ownership due to death, it is very common for a real estate appraisal to be needed for tax and/or inheritance purposes. Typically an attorney or accountant will order an appraisal during such a circumstance or have a family member or heir choose an appraiser for the job at hand. 

Retrospective Value: In these instances it is fairly typical for the appraiser to perform a ”retrospective appraisal”, meaning that even though the property is inspected today, the property isn’t valued off of today’s date, but is instead based upon a previous date (usually the date of death of the owner of the property). For example, if an owner of a property passed away on May 16, 2008 and the current date is March 2, 2009, the appraiser would inspect the property today but then base the value on what the market was doing on May 16, 2008.  

3764yRetrospective appraisals can be challenging in that the appraiser needs to decipher the trends and perceptions of market participants in a previous time period instead of whatever is happening right now (which could be completely different). In a market like today, if much time has elapsed since the death of the property owner, the difference between the retrospective value and today’s current value can be striking, huh. 

Other Types of Value: In addition to needing a retrospective value in situations like this, sometimes the ordering party will also request a current “as is” fair market value or value based upon the date the title transferred from the deceased to the heir (if the transfer was after the date of death).  Remember, every situation is unique and the type of appraised value required all depends on the particular needs of the estate. 

The Good News: If you are in a situation like this or expect to be soon, take assurance that the type of value is not something you have to spend time worrying about. A good attorney or accountant can help direct you toward the type of value they need for your estate. And a good appraiser will know to contact the attorney or accountant to clarify exactly what is necessary in case the owner or heir is not exactly clear. Your circumstances may be very difficult understandably, so the hope is that at least the professionals around you can help to smooth over some of the details like this so you don’t have to think too much about them. 

I am available for any questions at 916-595-3735.