Comprehending Appraisals

Their home's purchase is the most significant financial decision some of us might ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the exchange. And the title company ensures that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? 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 Gregory James Company, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the home inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the 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, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Gregory James Company, Inc., we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Atlanta and Polk County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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 employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Gregory James Company, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

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