profile picture
What is an appraisal

View our tutorial video.
View a sample appraisal

Welcome to JCI Appraisals, Inc.  We are a leading provider of real estate valuations for the mortgage lending marketplace. With many years of experience in the business, we have a proven track record of reducing lenders time, efforts and costs in managing the appraisal process.

We are a leading provider of appraisals for:

Primary and Secondary Mortgages

  • Mortgage Refinancing
  • Employee Relocation
  • Private Mortgage Insurance Removal
  • Estate Planning
  • Divorce Settlement

  • Our investment in training and technology has helped our customers greatly reduce their workload. By offering on-line appraisal ordering, coupled with automatic report status updates and electronic delivery of the final product, we are able to eliminate the run around and phone tag hassles associated with this process. And since this process saves us money as well, we can keep our rates competitive with anybody in the industry.

  • Short Turn-Around Times
  • Highest-Quality Appraisal Reports
  • On-line Status Reports
  • Electronic Ordering and Delivery
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Through this web site, you can perform a number of tasks. Ordering an appraisal is just a click of a button away. Or, spend some time and find out a bit more about the appraisal business. The more you know, the better decision you can make. And check back frequently, as our content is always being updated.

    A home purchase is the largest, single investment most people will ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

    Most of the people involved are very familiar. The Realtor is the most common face of the transaction. The mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. The title company ensures that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.

    So who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? There are too many people exposed in the real estate process to let such a transaction proceed without ensuring that the value of the property is commensurate with the amount being paid.

    This is where the appraisal comes in. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay - or a seller receives - 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. He or she must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure that they really 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
    Instead, appraisers rely on the sales comparison approach to value these types of items. Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. They know the traffic patterns, the school zones, the busy throughways; and they use this information 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.

    Reconciliation
    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 than 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.

     

    HOME SELLER SERVICES

    If you are planning to sell your home, it might be a wise decision to make a small investment in a professional appraisal.  Unless you study real estate values on a day to day basis, like a professional appraiser does, it's difficult for you to get a handle on real estate values.  We aren’t talking about how much you have invested in your home, how much you paid for it, or how much you want for it.  We’re talking about the true market value of your home, which could really pay off for you in the long run!

    SELLING YOUR HOME FSBO
    More and more homeowners today are choosing to sell their homes FSBO (For Sale By Owner) and foregoing the help of a real estate agent.  Selling your home by this method can end up saving you a potential “hefty” commission (industry average is 5-7% of the home’s selling price).  Plus many FSBO sellers feel that they have more control in the process of selling their home since they’re in essence making all the rules.  But selling your home on your own will require a significant amount of "homework" if you're going to do it right.  One piece of advice that is consistently given by the experts in selling your home FSBO....Do NOT "Overprice" Your Home! It's very hard to be objective about your own home because of your emotional attachment to it.  A professional appraiser is objective and will tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear.

    PRE-LISTING APPRAISAL
    If you’re working with a real estate agent to list your property, more than likely  they’ll provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that lists selected sales in your area as one of the first steps in determining what to set as the “Listing Price".  This step is vital if you're going to maximize your profit and minimize the home’s time on the market.

     But even if you're working with the most experienced real estate agent, it's probably in your best interest to have an "objective" third-party's opinion of value prior to signing a Listing Agreement.  And that’s where we come in.  We can provide you with a pre-listing appraisal so both you and your agent have an accurate description of your home's features and a detailed analysis of the most recent and similar "comparable sales" or as they're commonly called, "Comps".  In addition to helping you set a realistic selling price so your home will attract buyers, a professional appraisal can:

    • Be a very valuable negotiating tool once you have a potential buyer
    • Impress buyer’s with written proof of your home’s condition inside and out
    • Make you aware of problems and eliminate last-minute repair hassles that might delay a closing
    • Decrease the chances of unknown problems that cause sales to fall through
    • Eliminate the wait for the buyer or their mortgage company to get the appraisal done on their own

    Many people are surprised when they find out that the market value of their home is much more than they thought, so investing in a professional appraisal actually allowed these people to receive several thousand more dollars than they thought they would when their home was sold.  Others have an inflated opinion of their home's value and an appraisal helped them to realistically price their home in order for it to sell.  An overpriced home will not attract buyers, which means no offers and no closing and that you have wasted valuable time, money, and efforts.

    CONSULTATION
    Maybe you feel like you don't need an "appraisal" but you'd still like some help gathering local property and sales data.  Our reports help you to make an informed buying decision. We understand the complexities of buying a home and know what you are going through and will do our best to make it easier for you by giving you a high quality, professional appraisal that you can depend on!

    When you order an appraisal report from us, you can expect. . . .

    • Prompt response to your initial inquiry: We will give you personalized information for your particular appraisal need. Just tell us your situation and we will make suggestions. Quick turnaround time: Typically one week or less from the date the request is received. If you've chosen to receive a copy of your appraisal or consulting report via the Internet (EDI), you'll receive it within MINUTES of its completion.
    • Appraisal and consulting reports formats to suit YOUR needs: When it comes to appraisal and consulting, "One size does NOT fit all!" We offer a variety of report types and delivery methods. Express mail too slow? We can deliver your report attached to a standard email, or notify you of an Internet site to download your report, the MINUTE it's completed!
    • Quick response to follow-up questions: Our reports are clearly written, understandable, and meet or exceed the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice that governs the appraisal practice. If you have any questions regarding your appraisal, after you've read the report, we encourage you to email or call us!