Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Getting a house is the largest financial decision some might ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The most known entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to finance the transaction. And the title company ensures that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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, what party makes 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 Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

Our first responsibility at Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying 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 real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain 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 putting a value on features of homes in Cliffside Park and Bergen, Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third method of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueIt's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. 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 Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.