2. Content and Services

What's in your commercial appraisals? 
You specify what you want within the bounds of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (the law appraisers are governed by). Generally, an appraisal reads like a narrative report, from 40 to 100+ pages. It details your assignment and provides:

  • an overview of the area, community and neighborhood
  • a detailed site and building description
  • a zoning analysis
  • a highest and best use analysis
  • an in-depth discussion of 1-3 different approaches to value a recommendation of the most appropriate valuation to use

There are many choices available to you according to your needs.

Do you appraise properties in areas you don't hold a license? 
We can appraise properties anywhere in the United States. In areas that we don't hold state licenses, we obtain temporary certificates. Temporary certificates are necessary for federally regulated transactions such as bank mortgages. There is no such thing as a nationwide appraisal license.

What is the range of services appraisers provide?

Based on their training and experience, appraisers can provide:

  • Tax assessment review, advise and appraisals
  • Advice in eminent domain and condemnation property transactions
  • Dispute resolution - divorce, estate settlements, property partition suits, foreclosures and zoning issues
  • Feasibility studies
  • Market studies
  • Capitalization rate and market ratio studies
  • Market rent and trend studies
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Cost/benefit or investment analyses
  • Land utilization studies
  • Supply and demand analyses

What appraisal approaches will you use in appraising my property? 
The three most commonly accepted valuation approaches to value are the cost approach, the sales comparison approach and the income approach (or income approach).

The cost approach combines the value of the land and depreciated site improvements with the depreciated value of the building. The sales comparison approach compares the property to others and adjusts for differences. The income approach takes market rents, subtracts a vacancy allowance and expenses, and takes the resulting net income and turns that into value using a factor.

We are not required to provide all three approaches and it is rare that all three are done. Appraisal theory has largely discredited the cost approach as reflective of market value and commercial appraisers seldom provide it. The sales comparison and income approaches are the primary valuation methods used for commercial properties. Even then, there are times when one of these approaches does not reflect the market and although it might be performed, it is given little or no weight in deciding on the final value conclusion.

How do you determine what approaches to value you will use when you provide a bid? 
Having performed many appraisals on a wide range of property types, our fees typically reflect the cost to perform two approaches to value, usually the sales comparison and income approaches. Even if we do not perform an approach, many times we still invest time in searching for data. This occurs most frequently in areas where too few comparable sales occur - we still look for them, but we do not create the market, we merely report it.

There are times when a third party, such as a lender, will require the cost approach to be performed. If that is the case, please tell us beforehand so that we can incorporate this into our estimate. An additional fee will be incurred if we are required to perform a cost approach for a third party and you do not notify us beforehand.

If don't agree with the conclusions found in the appraised value; what can I do about it?
That depends upon many things. The best place to start is to speak with the appraiser(s) who signed the report. It's possible that he/she may have overlooked one or more important factors which affect the value of your property; if you mention it in your conversation, you may find the appraiser willing to reconsider the value conclusion. Of course, if you are not their client (such as when your bank orders the appraisal), they are not required to speak about the appraisal and may be in violation of the law or professional standards if they do so.
It's important to remember that the appraiser is an unbiased third party. Our job is to find out the good and the bad about a property and report it, not to favor a direction. All appraisals are round-tabled by our review staff and carefully scrutinized before they are released, so you get the benefit and knowledge of more people than just those involved with the report.
If you are still dissatisfied, you can get a second opinion by hiring another appraiser or insist that a review appraisal be performed on the original report. If there is a large discrepancy in value, you or a third party may be able to negotiate an intermediate position.

Should I hire a lawyer for a tax appeal? 
That's up to you, but commercial property owners almost always have an attorney or tax consultant. Lawyers are especially helpful in tax court. They are also well-trained in negotiation, so you may even get a favorable result without going to trial at all. We cannot represent; we can only be an expert witness for your case.

Hettema Saba LLC
3307 Clard Rd. Ste 203
Sarasota, FL 34231

Phone: 941.926.0800
Fax: 941.926.2880
Hettema Saba LLC advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Copyright © 2011 Hettema Saba LLC.