Their home's purchase is the biggest financial decision many may ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.
Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money required to fund the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is consistent 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 property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from All City Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspection
Our first task at All City Appraisal is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the home, 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.
Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.
Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra 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.
In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At All City Appraisal, we are an authority in knowing the worth of particular items in Woodland Hills and Los Angeles County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, 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 the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from All City Appraisal will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.