What Is an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most significant financial decision most of us will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the participants are very familiar. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money needed to fund the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. 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 Collard Appraisal Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Collard Appraisal Group is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • 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.
  • But, in the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 Palmdale and Los Angeles, Collard Appraisal Group is your local authority. This approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Collard Appraisal Group will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.