Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase can be the biggest transaction some people might ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Practically all the people involved are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to finance the deal. The title company ensures that all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

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So, what party is 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 opinion 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 MGK Properties will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete 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 really are there and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. 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 subject at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject 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. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Hemet and Riverside, MGK Properties can't be beat. This approach to value is most often awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. It's not uncommon for prices to 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 employed 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 put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from MGK Properties will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.