Home Appraisals: A PrimerOne's home purchase is the most serious investment some of us may ever make. It doesn't matter if it's a primary residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
Most of the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money needed to fund the deal. The title company sees to it that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.
So what party is responsible for making sure the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 professional New Jersey licensed appraiser from Allstate Property Appraisal Services will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal beginsOur first duty at Allstate Property Appraisal Services 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, amenities, etc., 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 house, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Replacement CostHere, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Sales ComparisonAppraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. We innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.
ReconciliationCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property could sell for in an open market. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Allstate Property Appraisal Services will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.