Getting a house is the most serious transaction some people will ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.
The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the money needed to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.
So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 Marin Appraisers will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first duty at Marin Appraisers is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
Next, 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.
This is where we analyze information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.
A true estimate 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 associating a value with features of homes in San Anselmo and Marin, Marin Appraisers can't be beaten. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a home purchase.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.
Arriving at a Value Conclusion
Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value of the property in question. The estimate of value on 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 value. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Marin Appraisers will guarantee you attain the fairest and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.