Making Sense of the Appraisal Process

Acquiring a house is the biggest financial decision many of us might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Practically all the parties involved are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the buyer.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 MARC ANTHONY GIZZI APPRAISAL & CONSULTING will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, 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 pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system 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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in CAPE CORAL and Lee, MARC ANTHONY GIZZI APPRAISAL & CONSULTING can't be beat. This approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third way of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final 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 they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from MARC ANTHONY GIZZI APPRAISAL & CONSULTING will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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