Reasons to Get Your Arizona Real Estate Appraisal Report

While there are numerous reasons why you would want to get a residential real estate appraisal, the most common is often in connection to the purchase or sale of a property. The bank or lending institution requires one as a basis of underwriting the loan to be made on the property, often to ensure that they are not lending an inappropriate amount for the real estate in the transaction. Banks and Lenders will always only use Certified Real Estate Appraisers, and so should you!

When you are obtaining insurance on your property, you will also want to get a residential real estate appraisal to establish the value or “substitute cost” for insurance purposes. An Appraisal used for establishing the proper insurance coverage is limited to the reproduction cost of the improvements and an estimate of the replacement cost. This type of property appraisal used to establish the insurable value is typically not the same as the market value, since it doesn’t include the land’s value- which can be a sizable portion of the market value. Another reason to get an Arizona Residential Real Estate Appraisal for Insurance purposes is to file an appeal against the annual appreciation increases insurance companies use, especially if the increase in value determined by the insurer results in an unfair premium increase.

Another often overlooked reason is to settle an estate. Residential real estate appraisals establish the value of property when a death occurs and the real estate is going through the process of probate. The survivors of the deceased who owns property in Arizona will want the value estimate which determines their tax liabilities. Estate appraisals are typically obtained through the attorneys for the estate and not generally by the survivors, although if you are left with this task, it is best to use a only Certified Appraisers that are recommended by lawyers, real estate professionals, lending officers and banks as they are often the most trusted real estate appraisers.

Here are some others:

The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) sets the rules for performing an appraisal and reporting its results. It promotes the use, understanding and enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Federal law requires that real estate appraisals used with federally-related transactions be performed in accordance with USPAP, which contains the recognized standards of practice for real estate, personal property and business appraisal. Since 1992, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has required federal land acquisition and direct lending agencies to use appraisals in conformance with USPAP.


  1. Appraisal Standards Board
  2. Office of Management and Budget

How to Successfully Appeal Your Phoenix Property Tax Assessment

In Arizona,

The Maricopa County Tax Assessor’s office assigns values to real properties once every three or more years. Many homes today have assessments from the market’s 2007 and 2008. These valuations are currently being reflected in taxpayers’ bills as a result. Now homeowners are filing a record number of property-tax appeals and the nonprofit advocacy group, The National Taxpayers Union, expects property-tax bills to be out of sync with the reality of the market.

Anyone who pays property taxes has a right to file an appeal and If successful, will result in a lower assessed value. This often translate into a sizable reduction in property taxes. To file an appeal, visit the Maricopa County Property Tax Assessors Office and download the required forms. Also note the due days- often 90 Days after receipt of your assessment. The more evidence that you can provide the Assessors office with in your case, the higher your chances of a successful appeal–and good documentation always helps to make a very strong case.

Three strategies will help you to successfully appeal your property taxes:

1) Correct The Obvious
For instance: most communities still use drive-by inspections and the tax assessor may have made a mistake when evaluating your property, say if they assumed the home had more bedrooms, bathrooms, or improvements than it actually does. Correcting errors in the size of the lot or the home itself will often result in substantial tax savings.

2) Compare Your Property
Do research on similar properties- many of which you can access directly at The Maricopa County Assessors Real Property Tax Appeal section. If you can find at least five in your area that carry lower assessments, your appeal will be significantly strengthened. The more these properties resemble yours in size, location, upgrades, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the better.

3) Get an Unbiased Expert
While there are no shortage of talented and qualified Real Estate Agents, Attorneys and other’s who can also help you make your case with the state, at the very least get a recent and thorough home appraisal, much like the one you received when you bought your home before the bank would make a loan on it. Use a certified and well recommended Appraisal company and the document they produce will be an informative, unbiased and significant evidence of your homes actual value.

Whatever you do, don’t wait! File an appeal today, because the Maricopa County Tax Assessors office limits refunds to the prior year’s tax bill and the savings going forward only- you won’t obtain a rebate for over-payments made over the years, which can be huge if not properly adjusted promptly.

AtlasAZ Appraisals can help- we offer the the Top Certified Appraisers and with our The Spot Appraisal Program in Maricopa Country, your detailed, in-depth Spot Appraisal Report can be in your hands within 48 hours!

County Property Tax Assessment Appeal

Property Tax FAQ at The Maricopa County Assessors Office

How to Appeal property Taxes in Arizona

Lang, Baker and Klain “Property Tax Appeals in Arizona”

Getting a Real Estate Appraisal During A Divorce

Going through a divorce is a difficult period in life and anything that can be done to ease the process is helpful. One aspect of a Divorce that typically becomes a point of contention and creates more stress for both parties is the court mandated Real Estate Appraisal requested for the couples mutually owned home during a Divorce proceeding. This is undeniably an important aspect and the tips outlined in this article can make the Divorce Appraisal more accurate and a smoother experience for all involved.

What is the House Worth? Getting the Divorce Appraisal

If the divorce trial appears to be adversarial, your lawyers will most likely ask you to get separate updated and accurate real estate appraisals of the house in the divorce. This is typically done through two separate registered residential real estate appraisal firms- the very same type of appraisal companies used during the home purchase process. A professional registered real estate appraiser will visit the home, take detailed notes and measurements about the home and the surrounding area. They will then use this information to provide a thorough and updated appraisal of the homes value. When you are your spouse are cooperative in the Divorce proceedings, you may avoid the occasional pitfall of the “dueling appraisals” that arise from two different values that come out of this process.

Getting Familiar With Your Homes Value Before the Divorce Appraisal

One approach is to drive around in your neighborhood together or separately, gather information on three different real estate agents who have signs outside houses that are similar to yours. This will tell you that these agents are familiar with the properties in your neighborhood. Invite two or three agents to house when both you and your spouse can be present. This won’t give you a “firm” value. Instead, you and your spouse will hear together what the agent would be likely to list the house for and what price they think will likely sell the home. It is in their best interest to price it correctly if they are to sell the home and earn their commission. With this information, you and your spouse can agree on a base value to use for the house in your divorce negotiations.

Even with this knowledge you will want to have your house appraised to reflect recent changes in the market, particularly since the valuation will reflect the home’s worth at the time of the divorce. A timely appraisal by a qualified third party is required to settle a divorce in most states. To avoid potential conflicts of interest and additional acrimony, divorcing spouses are asked to each get independent appraisals. If there is a disparity in the two, the divorcing parties- or the divorce judge- may decide to meet somewhere in the middle. Having had an independent sense of the value by two or three real estate agents during this process helps both parties settle the disparity that may appear from two independent residential real estate appraisals.

Getting Just One Divorce Appraisal

If you both decide to get just one appraisal done, make the choice of appraiser by mutual consent and ensure that both of you are present when it is being done. Any perception by either party, or the judge that either of you is trying to unduly influence the appraisal will cause additional legal pains for everyone involved. Also, make sure you are using a reputable, licensed local real estate appraiser who is experienced with “divorce appraisals” because these types of appraisals must be supportable in divorce court. The appraiser should also be familiar with the timing and procedures used to best match the appraisal’s effective date and value with the date of the divorce.

AtlasAZ Appraisal’s (a highly reputable and registered Phoenix Real Estate Appraisal Company) offers what’s called a “Spot Appraisal” program which can put an accurate, detailed appraisal report in your hands in as little as 24 hours. It is fast becoming the most popular program for those requiring a Divorce Appraisal of their home’s value. AtlasAZ has an established, respected position in the Phoenix, Arizona appraisal community and is often the goto company for Divorce Attorneys, Loan Brokers, Banks and Residential Real Estate Appraisals. We do our best to help your divorce go more smoothly and are ready to provide a “Spot Appraisal” at any time. You can call us at 602-955-4641 or request a “Divorce Appraisal” online at Phoenix, Arizona Real Estate Appraisal Request.

Read More About Divorce Appraisals: Article:
Pay For Two Appraisals During a Divorce

Lamb Hanson Appraisals:
Real Estate Appraisal During A Divorce