Understanding Appraisals

A home purchase is the most important investment many might ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. The title company sees to it that all details of the transaction 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, what party makes sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Perpetual Valuations Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

Our first duty at Perpetual Valuations Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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 Snellville and Gwinnett, Perpetual Valuations Group can't be beat. This approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing 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 the event they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Perpetual Valuations Group will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.