Comprehending Appraisals

Getting a house is the biggest financial decision some of us will ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

The majority of the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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 makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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.

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 there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - 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: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate 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. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 Cliffside Park and Bergen, Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is usually given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. It'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'. Regardless, the appraised value is often used 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 guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.