What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most significant transaction most could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most known face in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the financial capital needed to finance the transaction. The title company ensures that all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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So, what party makes sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could 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 inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility 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 shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often includes 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 house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties 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.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC, we are experts in knowing the worth of real estate features in Cliffside Park and Bergen County neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Prices can always 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 they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.