Decoding the Appraisal Process

Buying a house is the most significant investment most people may ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the people participating are quite familiar. The most familiar face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller 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, who makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? In comes 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from J Christian Property Advisors LLC. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at J Christian Property Advisors LLC. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

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

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the upper limit 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 communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At J Christian Property Advisors LLC., we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Senoia and Coweta County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. 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 is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from J Christian Property Advisors LLC. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

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