Real Property Appraisals: A Primer
Their home's purchase can be the largest investment many could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to finance the deal. And the title company sees to it that all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? In comes 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 Alberto Bustos will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal starts
To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Once the site has been inspected, 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.
Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home 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 more accurately portray the features of subject.
In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Alberto Bustos, we are experts in knowing the value of particular items in Mission Viejo and Orange County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Coming Up With The Final Value
Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, 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. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Alberto Bustos will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.