What Are the Components of an Appraisal?
A home purchase can be the most significant financial decision many of us will ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.
So, what party makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Howard Goldstein and Associates will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often requires 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, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive 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. It's also the least used method.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular 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 property being appraised. 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 property.
A true estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Howard Goldstein and Associates, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Laguna Niguel and Orange County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often 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 - we may use a third way of valuing real estate. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Arriving at a Value Conclusion
Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the individual circumstances 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.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 recover in case they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Howard Goldstein and Associates will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.