Buying a house can be the most significant investment some people might ever consider. Whether it's a primary residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the transaction. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? 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 Market Appraisal Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspection
Our first duty at Market Appraisal Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Back at the office, 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.
This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately 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. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
After all differences have been accounted for, 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 worth of features of homes in San Francisco and San Francisco, Market Appraisal Group can't be beat. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight 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 situation, the amount of revenue the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Market Appraisal Group will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.