The Gainesville area real estate market is stable with active buyers and sellers. One of the biggest hurdles in a real estate transaction is a home appraisal. If you are selling your Gainesville home, your Realtor will have guided you to select a listing price. When you get a buyer and have a contract for sale there is normally a contingency on the contract for “appraised value”. To determine your home’s value a formal appraisal will be ordered, by the buyer’s lender or by the buyer if they are paying cash. The home seller does not order the appraisal.
This is guide to home appraisals should help you as you navigate through the process of buying or selling your home in today’s real estate market. That process can be a stressful one, due in no small part to the uncertainty involved in home appraisals. Houses have market values, which are based on a variety of standardized factors, but because they are sold so infrequently, relative to other commodities, a house must have an appraisal before it can be sold on any given occasion.
Some homeowners aren’t even aware that an appraisal is necessary and required by a buyer’s lender. It is not uncommon for cash buyers to request an appraisal either. In the event that you are selling your house, the form of appraisal you want is a “market value appraisal,” which will provide you with the fairest result. Just another reason why a guide to home appraisals is so important!
What is a Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is an evaluation of the cash value of your house and property. This is based upon such diverse factors as your home’s size, the number of rooms, the condition, location, the visual appeal of the building and the property as a whole, and your home’s amenities & upgrades since the previous sale. The appraisal value is affected by the current real estate market, and it must be based upon a legal concept known as “highest and best use”. Simply that the appraised value of an item of real estate must be based upon how the property might best be used, not necessarily, on how it is being used at the time of sale (although the highest and best use of a house is typically as such). The appraisal is a formal report prepared and submitted to the lender for review by the underwriting department. Most contracts for the purchase of real estate have an “appraisal contingency”, which states that the home must appraise at or above the contract price.
It is important to note that, while there are standardized guidelines for appraisers to use, the appraisal is legally defined as an informed professional opinion comprised of a series of educated assumptions, and as such it is open to interpretation and appeal. One appraiser might focus upon improvements you’ve made to your house’s exterior since moving in, and with your property as a whole, while another might be more concerned with the interior of your home.
Certain factors will be based upon local concerns, which can’t be covered broadly. An example of this might be the appraisal of a house with private full bathrooms attached to each bedroom, and a half-bath for guests, as opposed to a house with one or two full baths in their own distinct areas, leaving room for larger bedrooms. A licensed appraiser will need access to the interior of a home to determine all the details & specifications of a home to be appraised.
If you have any questions as to your home’s value in Gainesville give us a call. We can prepare a detailed comparative market analysis (CMA). This is a Realtor® opinion of market value. This CMA will guide Gainesville home sellers to select a price to “list their home for sale”. Yet, this is not a formal appraisal.
If your home is priced right for the current market, you will have less stress when waiting for the formal appraisal required by the home buyers in Gainesville.