It is no secret that residential real estate is up in value. It’s not only people fleeing the city for the suburbs, home values have increased across the nation. In fact, February marked the first time since 2013 that home values have risen in double digits at 10%. That statistic is on a national level through a 12-month period. What are some takeaways with the current real estate climate?
The state of residential real estate is in a frenzy. It is most definitely a seller’s market. The inventory is quite low and the demand is extremely high. This means many homes that are listed are going into bidding wars and selling way over list price – what can you do about this? If you are buyer, cash offers are king. Be aware however, if you are going to bid way over the list price, which people do, the appraisal may not support that value if you are financing. Appraisals are based on the historical data of closed sales. They can also include some under contract and active listings to help support it. When the market is moving so fast, it can be difficult to support an outrageous contract price.
Some buyers or realtors are now hip to the increasing market and are listing high to push the boundaries to see what they can get for that property. Don’t fall for this trap. If a home is sitting in this market, it is simply listed too high. You can obtain an appraisal before you purchase to determine the fair market value.
Find out about exclusive listings from real estate agents. As an appraiser, I wasn’t sure why a seller would want to go the route of listing a home exclusively and reducing the amount of exposure to the market. I asked a reputable local realtor this question. Her answer was enlightening. She was a realtor at the largest and most known realty office in the area. She explained that the benefits of an exclusive listing is that you are only dealing with local realtors in the office and their clients. The realtors in this office know the rules and how to play the game. You are not dealing with potential realtors outside the area that may cause delays or other problems down the road. The probability of a smooth transaction is greater. Some sellers also do not want a ton of traffic through their house when selling or pictures of their home on the MLS. This limits the amount of people walking through the home and people seeing the interior.
If the appraiser can obtain info from the exclusive listing, an appraisal can be completed to determine the fair market value. It can help justify and make an accurate offer.
If you purchased a home in the past few years and did not put enough down to avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), now is a great time to try and remove PMI. Typically, a homeowner needs to put down 20% when purchasing a home to avoid PMI. In order to reduce the risk, the bank wants the owner to have 20% equity in the home. If you only put down 10% during the purchase and it was one year ago or more, you may be in luck. With the market appreciating 10% (on a national level), a new appraisal may show that you now have 20% equity in the home. Once you submit the appraisal to the bank showing that, they will remove the PMI and eliminate that additional monthly payment – potentially saving hundreds of dollars each month.
Lowering your taxes through a tax appeal is solely based on market value. In order to be eligible, the appraiser has to value the home 15% lower than the town’s assessment. Unfortunately, with the market being up so much, the odds of a successful tax appeal this year are much lower than normal years due to the rising home values. However, I still found a few cases there were eligible for an appeal.
Although some people want to sell their home now and sell it high, they are also going to have to buy high unless they rent. Some homeowners who have a second vacation home who are selling their main house and moving to their second home. If you find yourself in a position where determining the fair market value of a home will be beneficial, please give us a call at 908-233-1337 so we can assist you in your decision-making process.
Evan from American Realty Appraisals came out to our home last spring to conduct a home appraisal in support of our property tax appeal. He arrived promptly at the agreed time, was very professional and conducted a thorough walk through. We were very satisfied with the results of his appraisal - they were well-researched and accurately captured the features of the home. His appraisal proved to be a crucial element in a very successful tax appeal. I would gladly recommend his services to others.
I was extremely pleased in my experience with American Realty Appraisals. Evan was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer any questions I had. His appraisal was useful in our being able to successfully appeal our taxes. It was worth every penny. He also shared some suggestions on how to shore up insulation efficiency around the house. 5 Star service. thanks!
Evan was extremely helpful in our obtaining a favorable result from our tax appeal and I highly recommend his services
If you want the Do's and Dont's. I would say DO use Evan. It was a very smooth and easy process. He worked around my schedule. His turnaround time was very impressive. Price: He was in line with the other quotes I received. And you DON'T need to worry. I will recommend him and use him again
Prepared the documents to submit for a tax appeal and accompanied me to the tax appeal hearing to present my case. I have used American Realty Appraisals twice and have won my tax appeal each time.
I was appealing my real estate taxes and American Reality did an appraisal on my home. The appraisal went well and as a result the tax appeal was successful and our real estate taxes were lowered.
I was ignoring go through Tax appeal process because I thought it was so cumbersome with very little chance of winning. In this process, I used Evan for a tax appeal. Not only we won but it was very easy and simple process between him and the lawyer. I highly recommend to use Evan, he knows what he is doing!
The tax appeal through you and Lisa Walsh was successful, and you may use me as a reference any time in the future
Evan was great. He was instrumental in helping me to appropriately lower my taxes via an accurate appraisal. I highly recommend his services to anyone in need of an appraisal in NJ.
When the interest rates dropped last year, I decided that it was a good idea to refinance my mortgage. I was recommended to American Realty Appraisals by my mortgage company. They were affordable, expedient, and ultimately put together a very comprehensive report with figures, photos, and local comps. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a professional and honest appraisal company.
Evan and his team at American Realty Appraisals are simply the best at what they do. As a mortgage banking professional, I have worked with dozens of appraisal firms over the years and I continually return to American Realty Appraisals when I can for their expert advice and service. I would highly recommend them if you are an individual looking to have your home appraised, or a banker looking to add a high quality appraisal firm to your list of approved appraisers.
Before I went to list my home, I hired Evan at American Realty Appraisals. I wanted an unbiased opinion of what my home was worth. He provided a thorough report that gave me piece of mind and a leg to stand on when it comes time to negotiate. I was also pleased with how fast he turned the report around after the inspection.
I am an attorney in Westfield and I refer all of my clients to American Realty Appraisals. I have worked closely with Evan Siegel for the past two years and I have been impressed with his professionalism, integrity and expertise as an appraiser. Relying on his appraisals, I have been able to negotiate property tax reductions for numerous clients in Union County. I highly recommend American Realty Appraisals for all of your residential real estate appraisal needs.
ARA did a great job of handling my tax appeal. The guidance was spot on and the staff, specifically, Evan Siegel, was professional and knowledgeable. The outcome was excellent and I'm saving a good amount of money on my real estate taxes. Thanks ARA!!
I used Evan for a tax appeal project. It was a seamless operation between him and the lawyer. Zero blips, and we won.
Mr. Siegel performed an appraisal for my home for tax appeal purposes. He was very professional and helped me lower my taxes by 17%. I am quite satisfied with his work.
Highly recommend. Excellent service, professional, prompt. Great result