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Details: Birmingham home appraiser Tom Horn provides appraisal services in the Shelby county and Jefferson county area. He has extensive experience in appraising homes in the Birmingham suburbs of Alabaster, Pelham, Helena, Calera, Hoover, Vestavia, and Mounain Brook.

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How old can an appraisal comp be

Details: A concern I often get from real estate agents is that there are no comps to price their listings. After I start discussing the situation with them and talking it through, it turns out that there are comps but you have to know where to look. Today I thought I would share with you the process I go through in the hope that you can use it to help

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So What's Happening With Birmingham Home Prices

Details: As a real estate appraiser, I am seeing first hand and in real-time what is happening with Birmingham home prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have never experienced a viral outbreak like this in our lifetime so every day and week we go through this is unchartered territory.

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How To Avoid Appraisal Issues When Using An Escalation

Details: Today’s real estate market in many areas could be described as tight, meaning that inventory is low and demand is high. This is exactly how it is in many areas of Birmingham, AL where I appraise. New listings are not staying on the market long before buyers write a contract. The old adage that if you snooze you lose couldn’t be more true.

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What makes a good sales comparable

Details: If you are a real estate agent and have a question about what makes a good sales comparable, please leave a comment below. Characteristics of a good sales comparable. 1) They bracket the subject-I’ve written about bracketing in past articles so if you are interested in digging deeper please read that post. In general, bracketing consists of

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How do appraisers determine if there is an oversupply or

Details: During our discussion please keep in mind that real estate is location and property specific, and just because there is a shortage in one area does not mean this is true all over. In addition, supply and demand can vary among homes in different price ranges, so we may see a shortage of homes for sale in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range but

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A Look at New Construction Trends in the Birmingham Market

Details: In my 30+ years of being a real estate appraiser, I have never seen a market like we are in. New construction, or lack thereof, has played a big role in where we are. The combination of low-interest rates and even lower inventory has made it the perfect storm for skyrocketing home prices.

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What is an easement and how does it affect my property

Details: - Collier Swecker-Owner of Mega Agent Real Estate Team at RE/MAX Advantage and Mega Agent Rental Management LLC. Read more. Speaking. Tom has spoken at various real estate groups around the Birmingham area and is available to speak at your office sales meeting. Click the Speaking button in the menu bar at the top of the page to find out more.

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Can a finished attic be included in the appraisal of a

Details: The attic stair case brings you into the space and then in the middle we built a door dividing the space into two rooms. We added electric to power the heat and air units. We recently placed the house up for sale and we told by our real estate agent and others that the space would not be counted. A buyer stepped forward and a contract has been

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Avoid these 5 problems to help your home appraise for top

Details: In my adventures as a real estate appraiser in Birmingham, Alabama I have seen a lot of things that decrease the value of your home. I thought I would share with you 5 problems I have seen recently so that you can avoid these value killers. Moisture stains on your ceiling is a good sign […]

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Does a Bedroom Need a Window To Be Legal

Details: Marketability is the name of the game in real estate. If you can make your listing sound better than the other homes for sale you may be able to sell it quicker or for more money. Bedrooms are one of those features of a home that sounds good if there are more of them. I get calls all of the time from real estate agents asking if a certain room

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So what's the big deal if the square footage in MLS is

Details: Real estate agents in our area have not had to put in square footage for many years, however this chanted last year when it became a requirement. Even now the information is not the best because, as I said in the post, some agents use the county records info whether it is accurate or not.

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Why appraisers can't use custom built homes as comps

Details: I ran across a new home that had recently sold and was verifying information about the sale from the real estate agent. It turns out that the home was actually a new custom built home, which appraisers are not allowed to use as comparables. The agent was curious why appraisers can’t use custom built homes as comps so I thought I would explain

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Clearing the air- A look at exactly what real estate

Details: Real estate agents CAN provide data about home improvements, neighborhood amenities, and any other positive factors- If updates or renovations have been made to a home this information should be passed along to the appraiser. I always encourage homeowners and real estate agents to give me a copy of any improvements made to the home over the

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Overbidding in a Hot Real Estate Market • Birmingham

Details: A Hot Real Estate Market Requires a Different Strategy. If you’ve tried to buy a home recently you’ll know what I’m talking about when discussing a hot real estate market. Because it is so competitive most buyers are being encouraged by their real estate agents to come prepared to make an offer when looking at houses.

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Can a sunroom be included in the gross living area of a

Details: I was asked by a real estate agent recently whether a sunroom could be included in the gross living area of a home, and after thinking about it I decided it was a very timely question, so I decided to share it with you. As you may recall I recently wrote about how the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service will be requiring accurate square footage

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What is gross living area in an appraisal

Details: Our real estate agent thought the appraiser hung to moon and wanted to use his numbers. I should have changed agents immediately but my wife and I felt an obligation to her because we have known her for 30 years and had called on her for free real estate advice over the years. As a concession to my insistence that the house was worth more than

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What qualitative analysis is and how agents can use it to

Details: Real estate agents have a unique insight into the perceived importance of various features since they talk to buyers all the time. Agents can use this to their advantage by making note of what the majority of people find important, even taking note of various buyer profiles in …

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How long does it take to complete an appraisal

Details: The collection of comparable data and analysis of real estate trends usually takes the longest time to complete. Comparable selection I would say that the proper selection of comparables is the most important part of an appraisal because if you don’t choose the right sales comparables (comps) then the final opinion of value is not going to

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What is bracketing and why should Realtors do it

Details: If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on Facebook., Twitter, or Youtube. Related posts: 5 questions you must ask yourself before getting an appraisal ; How to help your …

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Appraisal vs CMA vs BPO

Details: Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)- The CMA is performed by real estate agents when pricing a home for sale. It typically includes information on recently sold homes, current active listings, pending sales, withdrawn and cancelled listings, and expired listings. The report is focused on information that will be used to determine a list price for

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A way to help Birmingham, Alabama Realtor's price their

Details: Real estate appraiser- If none of the previous sources of information are available, or you do not feel they are accurate, you can always hire an appraiser to measure the house for you. As I previously mentioned, it will be measured using the ANSI standard which provides a consistency necessary to make sure you are comparing “apples to apples”.

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How Realtors can use this blog to help clients

Details: Tom, your blog is an excellent resource for real estate agents across the country, not just in Birmingham. Thank you for all you do for appraisers and the real estate community. Reply. Tom Horn says March 6, 2015 at 9:57 am. Thanks for the kind words Gary. You …

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5 Items An Appraiser Looks For In An MLS Listing

Details: A major source of. this date is the local multiple listing service (MLS), and whether real estate agents know it they hold the key to how accurate an appraisal can be. Depending on how thoroughly they fill out the MLS listing sheet this source of information can …

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Agents, are you verifying your comps

Details: The real estate market is red hot. It’s not just in the Birmingham area but all across the country. Low-interest rates and limited inventory have contributed to increasing prices fueled by multiple offers on houses that are often over the list price.

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Agents, are you preventing appraisers from doing their job

Details: The oldest phrase in real estate is “location, location, location”. This implies that in addition to the physical characteristics of the home its value is determined by where it is located. Homes located in areas with favorable schools or municipalities can make a big difference in its value and if the wrong comps are chosen the list price

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Alabaster Home Sales Market Update • Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Details: In my real estate appraisal practice, I perform a large number of appraisals in and around Alabaster. This area has steadily grown over the years and is sought after by home buyers due to its convenient location and highly ranked school system.

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An FHA appraisal resource guide and checklist for real

Details: An FHA appraisal resource guide and checklist for real estate agents. If you’re a real estate agent I hope this post will help you navigate through FHA requirements on your listings. I’ve written extensively about various items that set FHA appraisals apart from conventional loans. If you have an idea that a home you are listing may utilize

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Is a Pre-listing Appraisal Still a Good Idea

Details: A real estate agent provides an estimate of the suggested list price of a home while an appraisal is an opinion of the market value of a home. A pre-listing appraisal can provide a market supported opinion of value by an unbiased third party that a seller can use to accurately list their home.

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What is the FHA rule for swimming pools

Details: A closer look at the FHA rule for swimming pools. I had a discussion this week with a local Birmingham, AL real estate agent about the FHA rule for swimming pools because the house he was selling had a pool and they were not sure how FHA would …

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Why does the appraiser have to take pictures of every room

Details: Ever since the real estate market crashed banks have lost a lot of money on loans where the home was not valued correctly and the features and quality of the home were not stated correctly. In an effort to understand the quality of collateral that their loans are secured by banks have increased the requirements from appraisers and the number of

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Appraisal term of the day: Effective Age • Birmingham

Details: Anything that you do to the house that is part of the real estate and that extends its life physically (making the bricks and mortar last longer) or economically (making buyers want to buy it because it competes well with other properties) will lower its effective age and increase its value.

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What is Functional Obsolescence

Details: The textbook definition (from the Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 5th Edition) states that functional obsolescence is: “The impairment of functional capacity of a property according to market tastes and standards.”. Other industry books explain that functional obsolescence can be caused by either a “deficiency or superadequacy” and

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4 Things an agent should do before they offer comps to the

Details: Because the real estate market is always changing it is important to use the most current information as it will more accurately reflect what is going on in the market now and will most likely give you the best indication of value. Question. Do you have another tip you would like to share, or maybe an experience you had?

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Things agents do that appraisers hate • Birmingham

Details: How real estate in CO has worked through all of 2015 and 2016; Open your pocketbook and close your eyes. Agents voicemail boxes are full lately and they’ll do corny things like call back my UC verification call, like a week later. Things agents do that I the appraiser hate; Just about everything as a standard rule of thumb.

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How do appraisers make adjustments

Details: The real estate market is not perfect because you have people acting on their likes, dislikes and emotions. If it were a perfect market all of the sales would have a similar adjusted sales price, however this is not the case and there are variations that the appraiser must reconcile when reporting their final opinion of value.

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5 Things Zillow Won't Do To Get Your Zestimate

Details: Real estate agents have also told me that owners expect to be able to sell their home for THE zestimate value. This has become such a topic of conversation and one that is misunderstood that I’ve written about it on numerous occasions so as to shed light on what the zestimate is and what it is not.

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It's The Market It's Not You • Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Details: 6) Standards Are Too High-One thing that is different in the current real estate market compared to the time just before the last crash is that the credit standards appear to be a lot higher. If you are credit challenged you may have a problem financing a home.

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Common Questions Agents Ask The Appraiser • Birmingham

Details: Tom has spoken at various real estate groups around the Birmingham area and is available to speak at your office sales meeting. Click the Speaking button in the menu bar at the top of the page to find out more.

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Are Outbuildings Included in an Appraisal

Details: Tom has spoken at various real estate groups around the Birmingham area and is available to speak at your office sales meeting. Click the Speaking button in the menu bar at the top of the page to find out more.

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5 Things the agent can share with the appraiser to help

Details: Often times during the appraisal process the real estate agent feels helpless with regard to how the appraisal will turn out. There are things however that they can do to help the appraiser provide the most complete and accurate appraisal and to make the process smoother.

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