real estate

Privacy Notice

Pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, effective July 1, 2001, Appraisers,

along with all providers of personal financial services are now required by federal law

to inform their clients of the policies of the firm with regard to the privacy of client

nonpublic personal information.  As professionals, we understand that your privacy

is very important to you and are pleased to provide you with this information.

Types of Nonpublic Personal Information We Collect

In the course of performing appraisals, we may collect what is known as "nonpublic

personal information" about you.  This information is used to facilitate the services that

we provide to you and may include the information provided to us by you directly or

received by us from others with your authorization.

Parties to Whom We Disclose Information

We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our

engagement with our clients to nonaffiliated third parties, except as necessary or as

required by law.  By way of example, a necessary disclosure would be to our employees,

and in certain situations, to unrelated third party consultants who need to know that

information to assist us in providing appraisal services to you.  All of our employees and

any third party consultants we employ are informed that any information they see as

part of an appraisal assignment is to be maintained in strict confidence within the firm.

A disclosure required by law would be a disclosure by us that is ordered by a court of

competent jurisdiction with regard to a legal action to which you are a party.

Confidentiality and Security

We will retain records relating to professional services that we have provided to you for

a reasonable time so that we are better able to assist you with your needs.  In order to

protect your nonpublic personal information from unauthorized access by third parties,

we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with our

professional standards to insure the security and integrity of your information.

Please feel free to call us at any time if you have any questions about the

confidentiality of the information that you provide to us.

Everyday people buy, sell or refinance their properties in pursuit of

the American Dream. Most of these transactions include an

appraisal as a requirement. It has become customary in real estate

transactions to ensure that an expert evaluates the property to

ensure people are getting the value for the property.

But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times

when the services of a certified, licensed, independent real estate

professional might come in handy?  You bet.


A key factor in purchasing a property is developing an opinion of

its worth so you can make an informed offer to purchase.

A professional appraisal report performed by a qualified

state-licensed appraiser can provide you with an unbiased third

party opinion of a property’s current Market Value. This service

gives you peace of mind prior that you are making or receiving

a fair offer to purchase or sale a property.


Want to tap into the equity of your home? Do you need to

consolidate bills or pay college tuition? If you do, you’ll need

a new loan, which oftentimes requires a new appraisal of

your property.



Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance

that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount

being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. This

additional payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment

and can be forgotten quickly. This is unfortunate because PMI

becomes unnecessary when the remaining balance of the loan -

whether through market appreciation or principal paydown - dips

below this 80% level. In fact, the United States Congress passed a

law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires

lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio

conditions have been met.

Many appraisers offer a specific service for home owners that

believe they have met the 80% loan-to-value metric. For a nominal

fee, the appraiser can provide you with a statement regarding the

home value. We will even take the next step and help you file a

challenge with your mortgage company. The costs of these

services are can be recovered in just a few months of not paying

the PMI.


Divorces can be difficult enough for both parties and can become

extremely difficult to navigate by the question, “Who gets to keep

the house?” In the majority of divorces, the Court does not dictate

that one party must “buyout” the other’s interest, but the Court may

order the sale of the property so each party gets equal shares of

the home’s equity. Nevertheless, an appraisal should be ordered

so that both parties are fully aware of the property’s true market


If the parties choose to sell the home, they'll have a better idea of

what price to set. On the other side, if a "buyout” is chosen, both

parties will be ensured that they’ve gotten a fair assessment. 



Losing a loved one is one of must difficult things to deal with.

To top it off, settling an estate from a death, or probate, often

requires an appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the

residential property involved.  The ethics provision within the

Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)

binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest degree of


Unlike like wealthy minority, the middleclass majority of Americans

do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to handle

these concerns.  Also, in most cases, a home or other real property

makes up a disproportionate share of the overall estate value.

An appraiser can assist you here, as well.  The first step in settling an

estate fairly is to understand its true value.  Where property is

involved, the appraiser helps to determine the actual worth. 

At this point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived

at among disputing parties. Everyone can rest assured that they

have received a fair deal.


There are a number of questions to answer before selling your

home. Most importantly, “How much should I sell it for?” Among

the others you may ask yourself are, “Should I paint the interior

and exterior of my home before selling it?” “Should I remodel my

kitchen?” and “Should I add an extra bathroom?” These are good

questions to ask. They all add value of the property; although they

do will not add equal amounts of value. An updated kitchen or

bathroom addition will add to the appeal of a home, but the cost

of the renovations may not add enough value to justify the



Whether you choose to sell your home independently or with the

assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal helps

make an educated decision when determining your selling price.

Unlike a real estate agent, appraisers have no vested interest in

the amount a property sells for.  It's easy for them to step in and

give you the information to help you make your decision. 

Appraiser fees are based on efforts to complete the report, not

a percentage of the sales price. Seeking a professional appraisal

helps homeowners make the best decisions on investing in their

homes and setting a fair sales price.

An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect

- or pay - or a seller, receive - for a parcel of real estate, where

both buyer and seller are informed parties. To be an informed

party, most people turn to a licensed, certified, professional

appraiser to provide them with the most accurate estimate

of the true value of their property.

The Inspection

So what goes into a real estate appraisal? It all starts with the

inspection. An appraiser's duty is to inspect the property being

appraised to ascertain the true status of that property. The

appraiser must see features, such as: the number of bedrooms,

bathrooms and location to ensure that they exist and are in the

condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The

inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the

proper square footage and conveying the layout of the property.

Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or

defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three

approaches to determining the value of real property: a cost

approach, a sales comparison and, in the case of a rental

property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

The cost approach is the easiest to understand. The appraiser uses

information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to

determine how much it would cost to construct a property similar

to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on

what a property would sell for. Why would you pay more for an

existing property if you could spend less and build a brand new

home instead? While there may be mitigating factors, such as

location and amenities, these are usually not reflected in the

cost approach.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers rely on the sales comparison approach to determine

value for features, such as location and amenities. They get to

know the neighborhoods in which they work and understand the

value of certain features to the residents of that area. They know

the traffic patterns, the school zones, the busy throughways. This

information is used to determine which attributes of a property will

make a difference in the value. Then, the appraiser researches

recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are

''comparable'' to the subject being appraised. The sales

prices of these properties are used as a basis to begin the

sales comparison approach.

Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square

footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view

lots (just to name a few), the appraiser adjusts the comparable

properties to more accurately portray the subject property.

For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and

the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of

a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home. If the

subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable

does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the

comparable property.

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for

example - the appraiser may use a third approach to valuing the

property. In this case, the amount of income the property

produces is used to arrive at the current value of those

revenues over the foreseeable future.


Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then

ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject

property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably

the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the

final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller

motivation, urgency or ''bidding wars'' that may adjust the final

price up or down. But the appraised value is often used as a

guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money

that the property is actually worth. The bottom line is: an appraiser

will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can

make the most informed real estate decisions. 

Why get an Appraisal?

David’s Resume

David’s License

Why get an Appraisal?

David’s Resume

David’s License

What is an Appraisal?


Babros & Associates, LLC

Prosfessional Residential Appraisal

(310) 376-5887