Making Sense of the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the most serious transaction many of us might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

The majority of the parties involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, 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.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

Our first duty at Good Appraisal Services, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional 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.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Good Appraisal Services, Inc., we are an authority in knowing the value of particular items in Riverside and Riverside County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Good Appraisal Services, Inc. will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.