Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase is the most serious financial decision most could ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most of the participants are very familiar. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the deal. And the title company sees to it 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 value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? 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 CMJ Appraisals & Investments LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 putting a value on features of homes in Smyrna and Cobb, CMJ Appraisals & Investments LLC is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific 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 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 CMJ Appraisals & Investments LLC will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.