What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the biggest financial decision most will ever make. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money needed to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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

So, what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might 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.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Good Appraisal Services, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain 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 truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity 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 more accurately match the features of subject property.

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

An opinion of what the subject could 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 experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Riverside and Riverside County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby 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 document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of 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 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often employed 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 Good Appraisal Services, Inc. will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.