A real estate appraisal is an estimate of market value for a property, defined as land and the improvements that permanently rest on it.
Acquiring or selling a home is the most important financial decision some of us might ever consider.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a primary residence, a second vacation home or an investment.
These large financial transactions require multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
These parties taking part in the transaction include but are not limited to:
So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price?
This is where you need the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay or a seller receive for a property. When both buyer & seller are informed parties, transactions tend to complete smoother with higher percentage of success. A Professional Florida Certified Appraiser from Finite Solutions will ensure confident decisions are made.
The first step is to establish the client’s requirements as far as deadlines, effective dates and any expectations contained within the report. This would be considered terms of engagement and are very crucial to begin every appraisal.
The very next protocol in the appraisal process is development of the scope of work and elements that will be needed to perform a well thought out and detailed report. The initial collection of information includes but is not limited to identifying the intended users, the parties involved and potential readers of the report. At this critical stage of the assignment, we must also determine what is the purpose for the appraisal and how will it be utilized. In order to establish this we must also gather information on ownership, location, type of use, sales, building measurement, construction type, construction costs, and rental income. After these initial steps have been completed, then we schedule the “appraisal inspection”.
Our first task at Finite Solutions 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 view if any, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure that they really exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floor plan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features – or defects – that would affect the value of the property. Many times the home owner has forgotten about recent beneficial improvements made or conversely over states their quality. It is important for the client to remember that an appraisal inspection is not the same as a “home inspection”. As appraisers, we are only making sure that the property is the size that it is supposed to be, updating is as stated by the client and that there is no obvious functional obsolescence. It is always recommended that any party that intends to purchase a property should hire a licensed home inspector that can vigorously inspect and test electrical, plumbing, roof, potential presence of pests…etc.
Following the inspection, we utilize many methods in determining the value of the real property. Most commonly the “Sales Comparison Approach” is most reliable to ascertain what the property would likely sell for with similar properties and typical exposure time in the market. Depending on the circumstances, we may also employ an “income approach” to value or even a “cost approach” in some cases. Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. We thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties that are ‘comparable’ to the home at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject. Say, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable. However, 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. This approach to value is usually awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.
After examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house would sell for in an open market, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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 often employed as a guideline for lenders who don’t want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. It all comes down to this: An appraiser from Finite Solutions will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions. As the client or intended user, you are encouraged to call us with any questions you may have regarding your appraisal report.