Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase is the biggest transaction most people will ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to bankroll the deal. The title company sees to it that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes 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 real estate is worth the purchase price? 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.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

Our first task 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 really 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 illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, we use 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly 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 work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property 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.
  • However, 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. When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Riverside and Riverside, Good Appraisal Services, Inc. is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all 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 the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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.But 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 put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Good Appraisal Services, Inc. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.