Want to learn a property’s actual worth? Consider digital

Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital

The act of selling your own home can be an emotional experience for many people, but because emotions can often overpower logic, it may be better to have someone else assess the true value of your property. As property values vary, it is important for sellers to be aware of all factors that contribute to the property’s value.

The real estate agent’s assessment of a property value is only an estimate of how much it will sell for, rather than a true evaluation. To make things worse, corrupt or unethical agents may artificially inflate the price so that they can get your house to sell. At the same time they may falsely undervalue the property in order to attract other potential buyers – either way, you could end up selling your house for less than its market value! So if you want to know more about this, then this blog is for you. 

For today’s blog, exclusive for our Real Estate Heaven members, we will be learning about the different ways to know your property’s actual value. But, this time it will be done digitally. 


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital QuestionBefore we get into the details of how is market value determined in the real estate market, let us know what is fair market value first. FMV is the price a property would sell for on the open market with no external factors affecting the worth or under usual conditions. This is significant in purchasing or selling, as it will affect how much you’re receiving or spending.

The FMV is a term that is often used in real estate markets and property tax. Taking a property-based deduction requires calculating FMV. This term is often used to discuss those who own a property and those who need to pay taxes on that property. Unfortunately, . Rather than a more general process, nearly every market valuation comes down to two factors: real estate appraisals and recent comparable sales.

The value of every good in a market economy is based on a price discovery process. Producers and resellers propose hypothetical values and hope to find buyers with similar valuations. In contrast, consumers bid up or push down prices based on their changing interpretations of the value of goods.

This process is imperfect and ever-changing. When you are buying a house, you have to determine how much the property is worth to you, and how much the seller wants for it. If the purchase price is higher than what the seller is asking for, then somebody might buy the house. Prices depend on supply and demand in that area as well as national economic factors such as GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation.


An appraiser is a professional that provides an opinion of value. During a home sale, the bank that offers the home loan will typically select an appraiser to give an opinion about the value of the real estate as of a specific date. When looking into the market value of a property, a comparable sale perspective is the most common to take. Here, recent sales of properties of similar stature are reviewed and considered for their existence or nonexistence in any way.

If you want to know the value of your property in a way that reflects competition in the area, you can look at recently sold properties. Though these don’t always match the description of your home, the appraised value will be higher if prices are high. 

Regardless of how you value a property, at the end of the day, real estate prices are negotiated between the buyer and the seller. Nonetheless, they both will make use of different valuation techniques to help them in their argument – thus reaching a deal with some things they are willing to compromise on and some back-and-forth.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital BuildingSo what should you know about real estate valuation? When estimating the value of real estate, it’s helpful in a variety of other tasks, such as financing property, marketing it through sales listings, investing in it by doing property analysis, and figuring out taxes. For most people straight up pricing is the most relevant thing they’ll be using information about. All things considered, the value of a property is determined by the present worth of future benefits caused by owning it.

Unlike consumer goods, which generally get used up real quick, an asset’s advantages usually take place over a long period of time. When calculating the value of a property, you have to keep in mind the economic and social trends, as well as the government regulations or control and environmental conditions that will influence the four elements of value.

The first one is the demand which is the desire or need for ownership supported by the financial means to satisfy the desire. Second is the utility or the ability to satisfy future owners’ desires and needs. Then the scarcity or the finite supply of competing properties. And lastly, the transferability or the ease with which the ownership rights are transferred. 

Sometimes, value and price are interconnected, but they are often not. The cost refers to the number of resources utilized in production, while the price is what a given user pays for a product. Value does not have to meet with either cost or price for it to be considered valuable. There is more than one price for the same house; some pieces of information can lower the value of that home. If someone finds a flaw, such as a faulty foundation in their new house, the price might lessen in value.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital Value 2Unlike an estimate, the accuracy of an appraisal depends on the data that is collected. Appraisals come in three different varieties, each using a different approach to determine an identified property’s value: One that uses general national data; one that relies on regional and city-specific data; and another that averages home sale prices in the neighborhood where the property resides.

The first one is the sales comparison approach. The sales comparison approach is commonly used in determining the market value of a single family home. In order to provide an accurate estimate, similar properties that were just sold must be taken into account or comparables. These similar properties are referred to as comparables, and in order to provide a valid comparison, each must be as similar to the subject property as possible, have been sold within the last year in an open, competitive market, and have been sold under typical market conditions.

There should be at least three or four comparable properties for an accurate appraisal. The most important variables to consider are size and features, along with location which can have a big effect on the property’s market value. Since no two properties are exactly alike, adjustments to the comparables’ sales prices will be made to account for dissimilar features and other factors that would affect value, including the age and condition of buildings, the date of sale, the terms and conditions of sale, the location, and the physical features, such as the lot size, landscaping, type and quality of construction, number and type of rooms, square feet of living space, hardwood floors, a garage, kitchen upgrades, a fireplace, a pool, and central air.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital for SaleThe market value estimate of the subject property will fall within the range formed by the adjusted sales prices of the comparables. There are many different ways to make adjustments to comparable properties, and some of them will be more subjective than others. We generally give the most weight to comparables that have the least amount of adjustment.

The next one is the cost approach. The cost approach is the estimation of value for a property that has been improved with one or more buildings. The method uses separate estimates for the buildings and the land, taking into account depreciation. Those estimates are added together to calculate the value of an entire improved property. The cost approach is to assume that a reasonable buyer would not pay more for an existing improved property than to buy a comparable lot, and then construct a comparable building.

For example, if you are appraising a school, research shows us that the buyer would not pay more for the existing school than to buy another plot of land and construct their own school. There are several ways that building costs can be estimated, including the square-foot method where you multiply the cost per square foot of a recently built comparable building by the number of square feet in the subject building, and the unit-in-place method where you estimate costs based on construction cost per unit of measure for individual structures and components like materials and labor, and the quantity-survey method estimating the quantities of raw materials needed to replace the subject building.


For appraisal purposes, depreciation refers to any factor that causes the property to lose value. These factors may include but are not limited to physical deterioration, including curable deterioration, such as painting and roof replacement, and incurable deterioration, such as structural problems, the functional obsolescence which is the physical or design features that are no longer considered desirable by property owners, such as outdated appliances, dated-looking fixtures or homes with four bedrooms, but only one bath, and the economic obsolescence that are caused by factors that are external to the property, such as being located close to a noisy airport or polluting factory.

The last method is often called the income approach. The income capitalization approach involves the relationship between the rate of return investors require and the net income property produces. It estimates the value of income-producing properties such as apartment complexes, office buildings, and shopping centers.

Appraisals using the income capitalization approach can be fairly straightforward when the subject property is expected to generate future income, and the expenses are predictable and steady. The appraisers, then, will perform the following steps when using the direct capitalization approach. The first is to estimate the annual potential gross income. Next is to take into consideration vacancy and rent collection losses to determine the effective gross income.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital GraphThen, deduct annual operating expenses to calculate the annual net operating income. After that, estimate the price that a typical investor would pay for the income produced by the particular type and class of property. This is accomplished by estimating the rate of return, or capitalization rate. Lastly, apply the capitalization rate to the property’s annual net operating income to form an estimate of the property’s value.

The Gross Income Multiplier (GIM) method is used to appraise other properties that are typically not purchased as income properties but could be rented, such as one- and two-family homes. The GIM method relates the sales price of a property to its expected rental income. Residential properties typically factor in the gross monthly income.

For commercial and industrial properties, use the gross annual income. The gross income multiplier method can be calculated by taking the sales price and dividing it by the rental income. If you want to determine the market value of a property, you can use comparative data from three comparable properties to calculate an accurate GIM and then apply it to the estimated fair market rental of the subject property, which can be calculated by multiplying the GIM or gross income multiplier to the rental income. 

While appraisals are often performed by skilled professionals, anyone involved in a real estate transaction needs to be aware of the various methods for estimating property value. Accurate understanding is important for mortgage lenders, investors, insurers, and buyers, as well as sellers and renters.


With that, it can be seen as Zillow is making moves with digital floor plans, which will please consumers. However, the company is struggling to integrate data from various sources in order to accurately produce these valuations of properties. American homeowners are much wealthier than they have ever been, and this equity is steadily increasing. In fact, 39.5 percent of mortgaged residential properties in the United States are “equity-rich”, according to data from Attom Data Solutions.

Based on current estimates of each property’s value, the loan balances secured by these properties do not exceed 50 percent of their estimated worth. There is good and bad news for homeowners who don’t know their true home values. The good news is that homeowners can still close gaps such as more accurate property valuation methods, or gain confidence in their homes’ worth. The bad news is that many homeowners are at a disadvantage; the lack of understanding puts them on the wrong side of real estate investment opportunities.

Homeowners should have up to date property valuations that they can count on. This is especially important when preparing to sell, refinance, make improvements, or when planning for retirement. Accurate home valuations are essential in distributing property or ensuring a fair share of the property for inheritance purposes. When homeowners know the value of their home, they are better positioned to advocate for themselves and safeguard their primary financial asset. As 73 percent of those polled from America feel that understanding the value of their home is important to have a correct picture of their overall financial health, there’s an appetite for gaining a better understanding.


As homeowners, it is important to not be blind to estimates and valuations that are easily found online or through an app. It’s okay to question the first estimate provided by an appraiser if something doesn’t seem quite right. Knowing your credit score before applying for a loan can save you time and money. An appraisal for a financial transaction is just like knowing your credit score because it gives you the tools to spot any inaccuracies.

Home values are on a continual upward trajectory and experts believe that this trend will continue. Eventually, monthly mortgage payments will be less because the bank will reimburse you for your equity. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University expects homeowners’ annual improvement and repair expenditures to reach $400 billion by the third quarter. More precise and reliable ways of determining value are becoming more important as it becomes clearer that the need to do so will increase.

It is essential for homeowners to know how large their property is when a mortgage provider or real estate agent offers them an estimate or automated valuation model (AVM). To make sure the value of their property is not exaggerated, they need to know where they can find information, especially in regard to a mortgage lender. The second most important aspect of a sold home is the square footage. In order to be competitive in this area, it’s essential to include a floor plan or image of the size of the space in an advertisement.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital Money 2Professional appraisals come in handy when a homeowner is negotiating the sale of their home. They are typically based on how much similar houses in the area have sold for and what market trends currently exist. An appraisal is also based on the amenities, square footage, and floor plan of the home. When there are significant variances in appraisals, the focus of a potential buyer’s process is complicated. This can occur when two different appraisers measure a property – sometimes with manual methods that use a tape measure or laser measuring device – and come up with different measurements approximately one-fifth of the time.

County housing records, which an appraisal also relies on, can be inaccurate as well. Homeowners are often unaware that the county records for their property reflect inaccurate information which can generate discrepancies about the date of construction. These errors can come in many forms, such as measurement errors and changes to the property without a proper permit. A reliable way to get accurate and precise measurements of a space is by digitizing the floor plans, which can produce 3D renderings of a blueprint with GLA (gross living area) numbers.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital MoneyWith the right technology, scanning and mapping out an area for accurate measurements can be done in a few minutes. When you create a floor plan sketch digitally, it has to follow industry standards so it maintains impeccable quality, exactly like a manual drawing. Such resources help cut down the time it would take for a human to hand-draw inspections and data collection. They minimize inconsistencies and variations in the process which is great for homeowners who want reliable property information.

While floor plans are not yet essential to generating a sale, they are becoming more popular and are now an expectation from buyers. There is potential for floor plans to provide greater accuracy when it comes to home improvements by allowing homeowners to see the layout beforehand. With new infrastructure, contractors are able to submit bids for projects remotely, allowing them to work in more areas of expertise. Technology is an answer to the problem of creating quality floor plans.


Real Estate Heaven REH Want to learn a property's actual worth Consider digital ValueThese digitized blueprints have the same quality as those created by humans and can be made in minutes even if you are inexperienced. The sooner the industry adopts this practice, the better. Accuracy in lending will increase and it will improve the process for all parties. It is a win-win to digitize floor plans, as they make homeowners happy since they can tap their equity with less risk, and sellers are hopeful for a higher selling price. It is also advantageous to appraisers who can streamline their process, and lenders crave more numerical certainty.

So, why do homeowners need this technology right now? Technology-driven floor plans are a way to illustrate how your home could look and help you make more informed decisions. These floor plans are more modern than traditional ones and will help you sell or buy a house. With floor plan digitization, you can save money and time while providing confidence among home sellers, buyers, lenders, insurers, and others that the property is accurately sized and depicted.

The technology is also helpful for renovators – it will help them evaluate their potential remodeling budget and decide how to invest their dollars. This type of AI will continue to open doors and make stronger and more accurate data available to the public to help them make informed decisions for their future.


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