Decoding the Appraisal Process
Their home's purchase is the biggest investment most of us could ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
The majority of the parties participating are very familiar. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from JZC Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first responsibility at JZC Appraisals is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
After the inspection, an appraiser uses 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.
This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out 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.
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents 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 upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At JZC Appraisals, we are an authority in knowing the worth of real estate features in Temecula and Riverside County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Putting It All Together
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. 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. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from JZC Appraisals will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.