Q: Is my information kept confidential?

A: Yes. Your information will not be passed on to any third parties. We use your information to provide you with answers to your requests, service and information. We also use it to improve the quality, performance, and informational content of the site.

Q: How much do you charge for an appraisal?

A: It all depends on several variables. Determining factors include whether it’s a home or an investment property, the size of the home, and the complexity of the property in question. For a single-family residence, the starting fee is $375.00.

Q: How long does it take to get my appraisal report back?

A: MAG will have the report back to you 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 MAG, 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 unique. There are three approaches to value: The Sales Comparison Approach (aka Market Approach), The Income Approach and The Cost Approach. The most reliable and the most weighed upon is the Market Approach. This approach 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 support the conclusions and are commonly secondary due to the reliability of data not always being conclusive.

Q: How is your appraisal different from the Tax Assessor’s office?

A: Tax appraisals differ from the Assessor’s office 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 builder’s floor plans. Additionally, they 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.)

Q: How can I improve the value of my home?

A: One of the simplest, 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). Look in home design magazines, or take tours of new builder model homes to help with your paint selection.

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

Another way to improve on value is to 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 ensure you don’t go overboard with the improvements.
Q: What should I expect when you visit my home?

A: A friendly smile, professionalism and a lot of quiet. Remember, what you want is for the appraiser to be able to focus on 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 arrive at the best conclusions.

Q: How long is the appraisal inspection?

A:  There are several variables that affect this: the size of the home and whether or not there are any interruptions. A 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 garages, 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 you have read on the above questions can help the appraisal process. If you follow any of those steps, you will have come a long way in helping for the best.