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Making Sense of the Appraisal Process

A home purchase can be the largest investment some people may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most of the participants are quite familiar. The most recognizable person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital required to finance the exchange. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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

So, what party makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? 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 Abandy & Associates Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses 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

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Abandy & Associates Appraisal Services, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Chino Hills and San Bernardino County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive 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 at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueDepending 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 often employed 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 put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Abandy & Associates Appraisal Services will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.