Understanding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the biggest investment most people could ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. 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 Good Appraisal Services, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Good Appraisal Services, Inc. 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, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable 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. At Good Appraisal Services, Inc., we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Riverside and Riverside County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueDepending on the specific situations 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Good Appraisal Services, Inc. will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.