Spectrum Real Estate Services

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Legal Purposes


Spectrum provides a wide array of property appraisal services through Attorneys or directly to clients. Among those are:


  • Divorce / Marriage Dissolution
  • Estate Divestments (Estimated Values)
  • Bankruptcy
  • Litigation
  • Expert Testimony
  • Peer Review Appraisals
  • Rebuttal Appraisals (Plaintiff or Defense)

Non-Legal Purposes


Spectrum can help you with any residential valuation need. We provide accurate and quality reports.


  • Pre-listing property appraisals
  • Pre-buying property appraisals
  • Appraisals for Estate Planning
  • Removal of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
  • Tax Assessment disputes

Explanation of Services

Divorce Appraisals


Divorce appraisals are provided by Spectrum to Attorney’s and/or their clients. Typically, the home is a couple’s largest investment, and as such, should be valuated very carefully and with great care. In some cases, each party may hire their own property appraiser, resulting in two reports for the court to consider. The accuracy, conclusions and assumptions of those reports are weighed against each other, typically with the best report prevailing.

With thousands of dollars, or more, hinging on the result of the appraisal, it is very important to hire the most experienced and effective property appraiser available. In addition to the estimate of value provided by your appraiser, the appraiser you hire can also peer-review the opposing report for defects and/or errors, thereby refuting the opposing counsel’s appraisal.


Estate Appraisals 


Estate appraisals are typically done when a family member, usually a parent, becomes deceased. In some cases, there may be multiple properties owned by that relative. It has been my experience that many families during this stressful time do not see eye to eye on the value of these properties or “who gets what.” Having a professional, accurate estate appraisal can reduce some of that stress and perhaps make the process easier.


In addition to estate dispositions, Spectrum works with your CPA or Financial Advisor to help you place a value on your real estate equity. Being provided an estimate of market value, and what trending is seen in the market, can help you with decisions regarding your investment portfolio and the management of your assets.With divorce proceedings and estate dispositions, you only get one chance to do it right. Spectrum can provide a quality appraisal to you, and any testimony that is required.


Bankruptcy 


Appraisals are typically required when going through the bankruptcy process. We work with attorneys and/or their clients to provide that service.


Expert Testimony 


We stand by our work and are available for that analysis and expert court testimony, if required. Spectrum can also be retained to provide real property values for a residential property involved in litigation or lawsuit.


Peer Review 


Whether for legal purposes or any other reason you had an appraisal performed, and question the voracity or quality of that report, Spectrum can review that appraisal for accuracy, appraiser assumptions, market trending, quality of comparables used for analysis and estimate of values.


During the early and mid 2000’s, when the housing bubble was building, there were many property appraisal firms that trained new appraisers to certification. Many of these appraisers did work for sub-prime lenders who did not review the appraisal for accuracy of quality.


Due to the large volume of sales and re-finance activity, many new appraisers were produced. An appraiser must finish a certain number of clock hours and work under a certified training appraiser for a minimum of two years. Again, due the volume and availability of work, the majority of these new appraisers, upon fulfilling their certification training, formed their own one-person firms.


At that point, many ceased the education in professional appraising, as the priority became completing appraisals and getting paid. Although appraisers are required to receive 28 clock hours of continuing education every two years, most of these classes subject’s an appraiser has previously taken or should already know.


It is very difficult to continue to expand your professional knowledge, when your time is consumed by completing a sub-prime appraisals to survive.

Of course, not all appraisers fall into this category, but you may not know that. A careful review of their resume may answer that question, however, if you feel that you did not receive a professional, accurate report, then you should consider having that appraisal reviewed and receive a report regarding it’s quality.


Rebuttal 


Appraisals offer a similar service of review, however, speak more directly and in-depth to the errors, omissions and use of faulty or inaccurate data. Rebuttal appraisal are typically used for legal proceedings, but have other uses as well.


Pre-Listing or Pre-Buying Property Appraisals 


Pre-listing and / or pre-buying property appraisals are tools we recommend very highly. Buying or selling a home represents, for most, the largest investment they may make in their life. Having a Certified Appraisal BEFORE you make that investment, is cheap insurance that you are not paying too much or selling too low on that major asset. This is particularly true for those that are relocating to this area and are not familiar with areas, prices or market trends.


While the majority of Realtors are honest professionals, there are those in the business that do not take YOUR best interests to heart, or lack the experience to successfully represent you. For instance, listing a property. Some say there are three kinds of Realtors. Those that price the property too low to get a quicker sale, those that will tell the seller what they want to hear and over-price the property to get the listing, and those that take the time and due diligence to get the pricing as accurate as possible.


With few exceptions, Real Estate agents are not Certified Appraiser’s, and can quote a price point with no consequences, other than an unfavorable outcome. However, Spectrum, as  Certified Appraisers, is responsible to the State for providing accurate estimates of value on properties, and provides a more thorough examination of the subject, competing or sold houses and the market in general.

“If you have worked with a Realtor before, and are happy with their service, great! I would like to work with you and your realtor to help insure the right pricing for your home in your market at that time.”


Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) 


Appraisals are designed to remove that payment from your monthly payment. If buyers pay less than 20% down when buying a home, the lender will include a private mortgage insurance premium in your payment. This is basically an insurance against you defaulting on the loan, due to having less equity in your home that the 20%.


If you have owned your home for two years or longer, you are eligible to have your home re-appraised to establish whether there is a 20% equity position, or 80% of your principle owed.


Not all homes will meet that threshold, depending on how long you’ve owned it, your original sales price and how the market in your area has performed.


As PMI payments can run from $80 per month to several hundred, it may be worth your while to call us and see if that may be an option for you.


Tax Assessment 


Disputes are becoming more frequent as the real estate market fluctuates. Different values of homes, styles and neighborhoods vary widely in appreciation or decline of values, and how they are assessed by the County.


In far too many cases, the Assessor’s estimate of value is arbitrary at best. Their appraiser’s do not research the subject or the market area to the extent that fee appraiser’s are mandated to do so by the State.


As a result, the data used by the Assessor’s office is dated, incomplete or plain wrong. Their limited number of employees can not possibly spend the quality amount of time to make a true “fair market value” assessment of your home due to the sheer volume of homes within their jurisdiction.


Spectrum can provide a tax assessment appraisal of your home’s current estimated value with a much more detailed report. That appraisal can be taken to proper authority to challenge the Assessed value, if you feel that it is not accurate. Additionally, Spectrum is available to participate in that process with you, to defend our estimate of value, appraiser to appraiser, with that Agency.