Decoding the Appraisal ProcessGetting a house can be the most significant financial decision most might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if it's a main residence, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money needed to finance the transaction. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.
So what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 professional California licensed appraiser from SC Appraisals Inc will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspectionTo ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they indeed are there 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 house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Back at the office, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Cost ApproachHere, we gather information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable SalesAppraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. We innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn 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 real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
Coming Up With the Final ValueCombining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a house would sell for in an open market, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual 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. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. The bottom line is: An appraiser from SC Appraisals Inc will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.