An Overview of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase can be the most significant financial decision most people might ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to finance the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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So, what party makes sure the property is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

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

Replacement Cost

Here, we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • 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.
  • But, 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.

A true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Cliffside Park and Bergen, Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

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 case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.