Appraisal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Appraisal Questions We Most Frequently Hear

Q: Is my information kept confidential?
A: Yes. Please read our Privacy Policy for more details about how we use your information.

Q: How much do you charge for an appraisal?
It all depends on the size of the home, the complexity of the property in question, whether it is a home, or an investment property. The typical starting fee for a single family residence is $375.00.

Q: How long does it take to get my appraisal report back?
A: A good appraiser will have the report back to the client within 24 to 48 hours after the time of inspection. Occasionally it might take a little longer due to the limited amount of sales data such as when a property is in an area where few properties sell, or the property is unusual. Appraisers call this “turn time”.

Q: What type of appraisals do you do?
A: At Appraisal IQ , we specialize in residential appraisals. These include: single family homes, condominiums, vacant land, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, lake front homes, ranches and large acreage homes of residential use only. We perform appraisals for Mortgage Lenders, Home Owners, CPAs, Financial Planners, Realtors and Attorneys.

Q: How do you determine the value of my home?
A: Each assignment is different. There are three approaches to value: The Sales Comparison Approach (aka Market Approach), The Income Approach and The Cost Approach. Of the three approaches, the most reliable and the most weighed upon is the Market Approach, this is the one where we as appraisers have to determine which homes are the most comparable to the subject for comparison purposes staying within appraisal guidelines. The Income and The Cost approaches are only used to give additional support to the conclusions and are normally secondary due to the reliability of data not always being conclusive.

So the best answer is: We determine the value of your home by what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood.

Q: How is your appraisal different from the Tax Assessor’s office?
A: Tax appraisals from the Assessor’s office are different in that they don’t truly know the actual size of your home, improvements you’ve made or the overall condition since they don’t literally go inside your home or measure your home.

Most of their records come from the builders floor plans, they also use different methods and sometimes their neighborhood boundaries cross onto other neighborhoods, that are truly not comparable to yours and could either make the assessed value of your home higher (call us if you feel this is the case, so we can help you lower your property taxes), or could make the assessed value of your home lower than it actually is.

Q: How can I improve the value of my home?
A: Believe it or not, one of the least expensive and most effective ways to improve the value of your home is a fresh coat of paint inside and out. When deciding what color to paint, make sure that you choose a color that is neutral (but not white). A good way to make the selection would be to look in home design magazines, or if you like to take tours of new builder model homes you can start there.

Remember that builders usually pay consultants and professional designers thousands of dollars to come up with the right colors and staging ideas. By visiting these homes you can get great ideas and benefit from the small fortunes that have been spent by the builders.

Another way to improve on value just requires elbow grease: get rid of clutter and clean, clean, clean. Whether you’re getting ready to put your house on the market or are preparing for an appraiser’s visit. Your home’s presentation could make a huge difference on how it is perceived by the visitor.

Q: What improvements give me the best return on investment (ROI)?

A: Dollar for dollar:

  • Elbow grease: clean, clean, clean and declutter (no money spent, only your time).
  • Interior/exterior paint.
  • Depending on your submarket (neighborhood) and what could be considered an over-improvement: bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels are the next best places to update. Make sure to research your market (either retain the services of a professional appraiser or a professional realtor knowledgeable with the area) and make sure that you don’t go overboard with the improvements.

Q: What should I expect when you visit my home?
A: A professional attitude, a friendly smile and a lot of quiet. Remember, what you want is for the appraiser is to be able to focus at his/her work so they won’t miss all relevant items to your home’s value. If you have made recent improvements to your home, make sure to point those out and if you take the time to jot them down on a piece of paper, with dates and costs, this will definitely go a long way in helping the appraiser at arriving at the best conclusions.

Q: How long is the appraisal inspection?
A: Depending on the size of the home and whether or not there are any interruptions, the typical time is anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The appraisal inspection includes: exterior photos of improvements (all 4 sides), photos of any additional amenities such as views, pools, outdoor living areas, spas, detached garage, outbuildings and so on, and lastly a walkthrough of all living areas and photos of all major rooms such as the kitchen, family room and all bathrooms.

Q: Is there anything I should do to help the appraisal?
A: Anything that you have read on the above questions can help with the appraisal process. If you follow any of those steps, you will have come a long way in helping for the best.

Q: What counties and cities do you service?
A: The counties we service are: Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays. If your city is in these counties, we should be able to appraise your property. If you’re uncertain about our coverage for your area, please give us a call.

If you have additional questions for our appraisal FAQ, please comment!