Understanding the Appraisal Process

A home purchase can be the biggest financial decision many may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.

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 amount being paid? In comes 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 Georgia Valuation Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first duty at Georgia Valuation Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, 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. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Senoia and Coweta, Georgia Valuation Group is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property 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 used 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 Georgia Valuation Group will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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