Understanding Appraisals

Buying a house can be the most important financial decision most may ever make. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money needed to fund the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.

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 value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? In comes 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 Appraisal Advisors Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first duty at Appraisal Advisors Group is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. 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 truly are present 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 document the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

After the inspection, we use 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.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

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 residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

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 valuing features of homes in Caguas and Caguas, Appraisal Advisors Group can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down 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 a property's valueThere 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. Regardless, 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 case they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Appraisal Advisors Group will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.