What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most serious investment many will ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

You're probably familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent with 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from JMS Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the inspection

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

After the inspection, we use 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

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very 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 researches recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Aliso Viejo and Orange, JMS Appraisal can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific 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 used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from JMS Appraisal will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.