What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the biggest investment some might ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC 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 truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods 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 vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match 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 home.
  • In the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath 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 Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Cliffside Park and Bergen County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 what a property is worth. Depending 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Gold Coast Appraisal Group LLC will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.