Home Appraisals: A Primer
Their home's purchase is the most serious financial decision many people could ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
Most of the people involved are quite familiar. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to bankroll the transaction. The title company sees to it that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.
So, what party makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from The Appraisal Firm will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first task at The Appraisal Firm is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
After the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
This is where we gather information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Escondido and San Diego, The Appraisal Firm can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing a house is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.
The Bottom Line
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.But the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from The Appraisal Firm will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.