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Real Estate Agent Job Description

Real estate agents liaise between home owners and buyers to conduct the sale, purchase or rent of properties. They work for brokers and play a major role in assisting people buy or sell residential, commercial or industrial property. They keep and maintain an up-to-date account of property listing and other relevant housing information to stay abreast with properties available on the real estate market. They subscribe to several listing services to advertise and market properties up for sale. They also contact property and market properties up for sale. They also contact property owners to obtain information regarding a property.

As part of their responsibilities, estate agents present sales and purchase offers to clients for consideration. They advise them on property rates, legal requirements and general market trend. They also interview clients to determine their property preference or specification. Usually, they prepare a list of properties that best match the needs and requirements of clients. They visit and inspect properties in order to establish precise property value. They also proffer recommendations to clients on properties that best suit their budget and preference.

Most estate agents oversee the preparation of closing statements, purchase agreements, representation contracts and other necessary documents required for estate trade. They conduct negotiations between property sellers and buyers to establish price and other terms of sales. They also liaise with pest control operators, home inspectors etc. to ensure the terms and conditions stated in a purchase agreement are met prior to the closing of sales.

In fulfilling their role, real estate agents oversee the closing of property sales, they ensure payment is complete and appropriate documents signed. They maintain contact with clients to offer them real estate services/products and assist with the resolution of issues. They also provide consultation services to clients to recommend strategies for the speedy sale of property. They often conduct training programs for junior/trainee sales agents to enhance their sales skill. This job position requires at least a high school diploma, state license for practice and an aptitude for sales. Qualities needed for the job include persuasion, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

Real Estate Agent Job Description Sample

Given below is a sample of the job description usually handed real estate agents by most employers:

  • Act as liaisons to conduct real estate trade between property buyers and sellers
  • Present sales offers to clients as well as bid on available properties
  • Carry out investigations to determine client credit status and ability to complete payment
  • Inspect properties to appraise its value and estimate the worth on the property market
  • Interact with clients to identify their requirements and proffer recommendations on properties that best suit their budgets
  • Assist home sellers in promoting their buildings on property listing services to attract clients for purchase
  • Prepare and deliver sales pitches to clients in order to secure real estate contract
  • Provide clients with a list of properties available for sale to assist them in making choice selection
  • Conduct price negotiations between property buyers and sellers to ensure a fair bargain for both parties
  • Provide clients with a tour of residential, industrial or commercial properties to showcase and explain property features
  • Carry out investigations to confirm clients have clear property titles
  • Provide appropriate reply to client’s enquiries concerning property appraisals, financing, maintenance etc.
  • Examine property premises to recommend maintenance measure required to improve the face value
  • Assist clients in evaluating mortgage options to obtain the best rate and terms
  • Attend conventions, conferences and seminars to improve existing job knowledge and expand personal network.

If you are a recruiter needing the best real estate agent to hire, you can use the sample job description above in making one for your company, for use in hiring and assigning duties to the successful candidates.

3 Steps For Securing Equity Capital For Your Real Estate Project

I previously shared the steps for creating a professional plan for a real estate project; the importance of obtaining third-party validation; advice in how to find the right financing sources; and suggestions on presenting the project professionally, then closing the deal. This approach will enable you to obtain financing term sheets, letters of intent and/or financing commitment letters from lenders if your project is financially feasible and falls within the lending parameters of the financing institutions that you approach. Nevertheless, financing always requires a cash contribution, as 100% financing is not realistic in today’s market.

Lender requirements for cash equity contributions, deposits or down payments, typically fall between 15% and 40% of the total project cost (85% to 60% Loan-To-Value ratio). A portion or all of the equity value in the property can sometimes help reduce the cash deposit requirement, but it is very unlikely for a conventional lender to completely eliminate the cash contribution requirement because lenders want to ensure that the principal(s) are vested in the project, or have “skin in the game”. The cash deposit is necessary to close the loan and obtain financing.

So, where does the cash deposit come from? There are several potential sources:

  1. Your pocket
  2. Your partner’s pocket (if you have one)
  3. Equity from another property you may own (if any)
  4. Private investors

There are many advantages to infusing the cash equity requirement yourself, including the fact that you retain all profit and full control of the project at all times. This can often be the most advantageous funding structure because it maximizes your profit and control. However, there are also advantages to securing equity participation from investors, including:

· Less cash out of pocket enables you to be more liquid, retain more cash reserves and/or diversify your investments to earn profits from other projects or endeavors simultaneously

· Reduces your risk and exposure in the project

· Enhances your financing capabilities

There are 3 basic steps for securing equity capital for your real estate project:

  1. Prepare an investment proposition
  2. Source like-minded investors and private investment organizations
  3. Investment negotiations and agreement

1) Investment Proposition

There are many ways to formulate an investment proposition. I’ve seen an investment proposal written on the back of a napkin… and the deal was funded! (This was a developer seeking an investment from his grandmother). I’ve seen verbal agreements get funded by family members. I’ve also seen very intricate, elaborate and lengthy investment proposals not get funded. How you document your investment proposal is extremely important. The first two examples were appropriately prepared for their intended audiences; the third was not. If your project is financially feasible and can demonstrate reasonable gain for investors, securing investment capital becomes a function of proper documentation, sourcing, presentation and negotiation.

Regardless of whether an investment proposal is intended for a family member or a sophisticated investment organization, proper documentation always enhances your ability to secure funding. Your proposal should be professional, clear and concise. Following are some basic suggestions for documenting your investment proposal:

1. Provide a brief executive summary describing the project and the investment proposition. Within the executive summary, outline the investment amount required, return on investment, time-frame of the investment, and discuss the security, collateral and/or equity value that can help protect the investor.

2. Provide a financial summary of the uses of funds, sources of funds, operating projections and cash flow of the project.

3. Discuss the funding structure and capitalization plan.

4. Attach term sheets, letters of intent, financing proposals, and/or commitment letters from prospective lenders.

5. Attach the project plan.

Source Like-Minded Investors and Investment Organizations

Where do you find investors that would be interested in participating in your project? If your project is financially feasible and you’ve prepared a professional plan and a concise investment proposition, then you’re only steps away from finding your equity investor(s). It takes time and determination, but it can be a worthwhile effort that can last beyond a single project. Here are some suggestions for obtaining sources:

  • Contact local and regional mortgage brokers, real estate brokers, title companies, real estate attorneys, and other real estate professionals. Offer a finder’s fee.
  • Place ads online and in local and regional newspapers.
  • Prepare a project web page where prospective investors can find the project and review/download pertinent documents, including your investment proposition.
  • Hire a consultant or financing broker that specializes in securing equity participation.
  • Review your own contacts and business cards – You’d be surprised at how fruitful this effort may be.
  • Attend networking events and or conferences for private investors in your area and/or region, then collect business cards and make follow up calls and meetings.

Dedicate time to making calls, setting up appointments and engaging in meetings to present your project to prospective investors. Become an expert at presenting your project. Prepare a multimedia presentation to help them focus on the points you want to stress. Don’t stop until you get it done. If your project is feasible and profitable, it can get funded with proper determination and effort.

Investment Negotiations and Agreement

How much should you offer an investor? Depending on the nature of a project, perceived risk, profitability, location, your experience, competition, demand, supply and numerous other factors, I’ve seen investors require from 5% to 95% of the project and/or profit. Most investors want to see that you have “skin in the game”, generally 10% to 50% of the amount you ask them to invest in the project. Demonstrating that you have invested in the project or that you will invest into the project is adds value to the deal. You should document this clearly and provide evidence of the time and money you have invested in your project.

Other items that are open to negotiation include the percentage of control in the project, roles of the parties, reporting procedures for the investors, etc. You should provide benefit and value to the investors, but at the same time you don’t want to lose all control or receive minimal gain for your efforts. Finding the right balance is extremely importance. This is accomplished through open dialogue and effective communication between the parties.

There is no global formula for this, so it’s impossible for me to provide accurate advice on what to propose investors for your specific project. I would strongly recommend getting advice from a savvy attorney who can assist in preparing the investment agreement and structuring the investment terms. Meet with your attorney first so that you have an original structure for the deal; then use your attorney when negotiating any modifications with prospective investors.

If you have a history or recently completed real estate projects, document this clearly and share with potential investors during your presentations and meetings. If you don’t have a track record of successfully completed real estate projects, raising your first equity investment can be more challenging, but if you follow the above suggestions and you are determined, the sky is the limit!

Get a Move On With Real Estate

When it’s time to make a big change, life may offer a subtle sign, like a spouse’s note on your pillow that reads, “I never want to see you again”. But how do you know when to nail that “For Sale” sign in the front yard of your real estate?

As life-changing decisions go, selling your home is right up there. Whether it’s to take a promotion, care for aging parents or something more personal, only you can say if it’s the right move for you. But if the choice to sell real estate has been made and the only thing left to decide is the timing, a few pointed questions should tell you if that time is now.

Can We Afford it?

It sounds like an obvious question. Yet given that household total credit-market debt – mortgages, consumer credit and non-mortgage loans – rose to 162.6 per cent of disposable income last year (how is that even possible?), it’s not. Maybe you got in over your head with your first home, but now that you’re slightly older and much wiser, take a close look at your finances before making a move with real estate:

• Is all of your non-mortgage debt paid off?

• Do you have an emergency fund with 3-6 months of expenses put aside?

• Has your home recovered enough value to give you at least 20% equity for your purchase? This will enable you to make a 20% down payment on your next home, saving you thousands of dollars in mortgage insurance costs. If you don’t know the answer, ask an experienced realtor for a free comparative market analysis that will indicate the approximate market value of your real estate.

If you answered “yes” to all three, you may be ready to take the plunge in selling real estate. If you’re not sure what an emergency fund is, you still have work to do.

Are We Still Emotionally Attached to our Current Home?

Do you tear up when you see the notches in the wall where you measured your child’s growth, or do you just think “they must have an app for that now”?

On the other hand, you may have recently experienced a divorce or other loss that necessitates a fresh start.

Usually the reality is somewhere between those two extremes. Whereas the question about finance was directed at the head, this one is clearly for the heart. If you’re quiet for a moment, it will tell you what to do. You just have to listen.

Remember, an expert realtor can offer a wealth of advice on the sale of your real estate. If you’re not ready to take it, however, you’re not ready to sell.

Does our Home Still Fit our Lifestyle?

In most cases, moving out of real estate is more than just moving over. It’s moving up or down. If you have a new addition or one on the way, it might be time for another bedroom or two to keep the “happy” in “one big happy family”. Conversely, when the kids (finally) leave the nest, downsizing can mean less upkeep and more time to enjoy the peace and quiet. After all, you’ve earned it.

With so much at stake and so many factors to weigh, the decision to sell your real estate is rarely a simple one. Nevertheless, taking stock of your finances, emotions and lifestyle can go a long way to giving you clarity. And if you should get that nasty note on your pillow, look on the bright side. Your moving decision just got a whole lot easier.

4 Various Types Of Real Estate Contracts

Before going through with a real estate transaction, ask yourself if you know about the different types of contracts that exist in the market. Do you know how they work? If your answer is no, then you should definitely read this article. Below are some of the basic contracts that are usually seen in real estate.

1. Lease Contracts

This is a type of agreement that comes into play when an individual leases out their spare property to earn extra income. In a lease agreement, the landlord specifies the deal that they have agreed upon with the lessee (tenant), which includes the rent and the security deposit agreed upon by both parties.

2. Power Of Attorney

Power Of Attorney is an agreement that you sign when you give complete control of your transactions to a person of choice named in the document. This comes when you are ill or when you on a business trip halfway across the world. Note that, you will not lose the ownership of the property, you are only allowing a close associate act in your absence.

3. Purchase Agreements

Purchase Agreements are the ones you see the most. This is when a buyer/seller comes to an understanding before disposing off of their property and handing it over to the other party. This contract will have details of the buyer and seller along with the price that was agreed upon and the closing date of the deal.

4. Contract Deed

A Contract Deed is the riskiest arrangement of all real estate contracts. This is where you obtain a loan on your property from a local money lender, by offering the original documents as collateral. This is also where the loaner has complete advantage over you as the contract will not be transferred to your name, until the entire amount is repaid with interest. Defaulting on any payments would mean that the lender can foreclose your house and walk away with the documents.

These are the basic contracts that are most used by both veterans and real estate newbies. You can also make a contract template with terms and conditions you agree with, and just use it the next time you buy or sell a house. Overall, a basic knowledge of the real estate market does not account too much when you are handling a real estate transaction as it involves considerable sums of money. Which is why, you should probably hire an agent to represent you.

Real Estate Tips For Beginners

Have you always wanted to invest in real estate but don’t know where to start? Here are some of the different areas of the industry that you can invest in:

Areas That You Can Invest In

Residential: these are properties such as townhouses, apartment buildings and vacation houses. Here a person or a family will pay you in order to live in your property. The length of time that an individual lives in your house depends on your rental or lease agreement.

Commercial: commercial real estate consists mainly of office buildings. When you construct office buildings you can rent them to companies and small business owners. Again the length of time that the business owners use your property depends on your agreement.

Industrial: this one consists of car washes, storage units and any other special type of real estate where customers use your facility on a temporary basis.

Retail: it consists of trip malls, shopping malls and any other retail storefronts. When you construct a mall, you can rent it to a person interested in running it or you can run it yourself.

Mixed-use: this is where you combine any of the above categories into one project. For example, you can construct a storied building with offices, malls and residential areas.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs): this is where you invest in real estate trusts. When the mortgages generate profits, you get a share of it.

Tips on How to Be Successful In The Industry

For you to be successful in the real estate business you need to do a number of things:

Involve an attorney: regardless of the area of the industry that you are interested in always involve an attorney. A good attorney will help you in finding the right construction company. The attorney will also help you in writing professional rental contracts.

Neighborhood: the area where you invest in greatly determines the amount of money that you will make from your investment. To be on the safe side always go for a neighborhood that is growing or has the potential of growing.

Run the numbers: many investors assume that when they construct a building they will have a tenant, which is usually wrong. Before you invest in a building you should run the numbers and find out if you will be able to pay the mortgage if the property sits empty. If you find that you can’t be able to repay the mortgage in the event that the property doesn’t have a tenant for a month or two, chances are that you are stretching yourself too thin.

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The Changing Face of Real Estate Communications

Some of the important features of communications in the Real Estate industry are enumerated below:

Communication of Trust: Buying or renting a property is one of the more significant decisions in our life. And therefore, it also becomes a crucial one. No one makes a decision on this aspect without being able to trust the other party or the offerings available. Therefore in the real estate space, sellers & agents ought to be able to communicate trust to their consumers. Inability to communicate trust or breach of trust in the middle of a transaction can lead to serious implications for both the buyer and the seller.

Communication of Availability: All consumers would like to have an assurance that the seller is available post-sale for any contingency. Often, in case of real estate agents, they are working on multiple leads and might find it difficult to tend to each one of them at the same time. Going incommunicado only heightens consumer anxiety while the agent might be genuinely tied up. Communication technology now allows for remote handling of calls, or auto call forward options which can keep your consumer at peace.

Communication of Transparency: A real estate agent is often misconstrued to be only interested in his own commission even at the cost of endangering a consumer’s interest. However, often it is overlooked that the agent himself might be in the dark on certain issues. Documents and land records are easily fabricated in the physical realm, with the agent completely being unware. Therefore, the emergence of digital records and ownership records means that all the stakeholders involved can swear by improved transparency.

Communication of Consumer Interest: The consumers today are far more knowledgeable, informed and keen-eyed than those from yesteryears. There is a greater availability of information and improved means to cross-verify everything spelt out by agents and sellers. Thus, it is increasingly important for real estate players to embrace the virtue of consumer interest. If an agent or agency fails to communicate the fact that they remain squarely committed to the interest of the consumer, they are unlikely to build any form of viable consumer connect.

In the real estate space relationships count for much – both the real-world and virtual. The relationship forms the basis for trust consumers place in agents. And the fundamental building block of these relationships is to be able to communicate with the consumers. Communications is not limited to spelling out the property details. It is about impressing upon the consumer that the real estate business is trustworthy, available, and transparent and has consumer interests on top of their mind at all times.

Time to Get Out of Real Estate

Talk about exquisite timing.

Even today, a decade after the fact, the leveraged buyout of Equity Office Properties Trust remains one of the largest of all time: $36 billion for nearly 600 office buildings in New York, Washington D.C. and dozens of the nation’s largest cities.

But in late 2006, some wondered if the billionaire who sold the REIT was being a little rash. After all, the real estate boom was in full swing, and the S&P 500 was primed to hit new all-time highs. “Is he cashing out too early?” asked a Bloomberg headline when the deal was announced.

We all know the answer, of course.

Billionaire Sam Zell deftly sidestepped the coming real estate carnage. Then, with prices at generational lows a few years later, Zell bought hundreds of apartment complexes at dirt-cheap prices.

And today? Well, that’s the ominous part…

Once again, Zell is selling his real estate holdings. Last fall, he unloaded a quarter of his portfolio, buildings totaling about 23,000 rental apartments, to Starwood Capital Group for more than $5 billion.

Zell next sold off apartment buildings in South Florida and Denver, with complexes in Phoenix, Boston and other metro areas expected to be sold before the year is out.

“No one has ever accused me of not being a realist,” Zell told CNBC’s talking heads recently.

Reality Bites

Few things are more real than the threat of rising interest rates. Concerned about the Fed’s late-to-the-party threats and distorted capital markets drunk on years of zero-interest-rate policy, Zell is getting out while the getting is still good.

In the past few months, new-home sales hit their highest level in eight years. Pending home sales rose by the largest percentage gain in a decade.

Even home flipping is back in vogue again. RealtyTrac, measuring 2015 data, estimated a 75% increase in active home flippers – the highest since 2007.

Nationally, the average gross profit on a flipped home was $55,000 – the largest since 2006.

But for the realists like Zell, the widening cracks in the facade are plain to see.

For instance, apartment rent is starting to come down in New York and San Francisco – two of the hottest markets in the country. There is simply too much supply and not enough demand.

A few weeks ago, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston warned about overheated speculation in the commercial real estate market. “We care about potentially inflated commercial real estate prices,” said the bank’s president, Eric Rosengren, “because they might risk a bout of financial instability.”

Translated from “Fedspeak,” Rosengren was saying: Get out now.

Even those ultra ultraluxury homes in the $100 million and up range aren’t selling. It’s a rarefied market, for sure, but The New York Times recently noted that a record 27 properties, each with a nine-figure price tag, are languishing unsold on the market. According to figures kept by Christie’s International Real Estate, 19 such homes were on the market in 2015 and 12 in 2014.

Late last year, I wrote about one of those massive palazzos here in Florida – the beachside $159 million, 60,000 square foot Le Palais Royal. It’s still for sale.

Perhaps the extra gold leaf they painted on the front security gate will help.

Beware the Peak

I can’t see Sam Zell taking up residence in Le Palais Royal. But then again, he sold his office properties in 2006, and watched the market crack wide open a year later. Now he’s unloading his real estate portfolio again, so, who knows?

If history repeats, Zell just might find his next great distressed real estate bargains in the palatial homes of the (once) superrich – dazzling jewels of the “new” gilded age now past its prime.

The Best Real Estate in Costa Rica

Top places to reside in

The security of living in Costa Rica will be determined by the region chosen. It is important to choose calm neighborhoods that are known for low crime and violence. Costa Rica is a peaceful nation, and most areas are perfect for retirees. Some of the top areas to live in include San Ramon in Central Valley which has been named as the top destination for retirees looking to spend golden times during their golden years. It is less crowded since tourists bypass the area and features elegant houses and peaceful neighborhoods. The Southern Zone that consists of Unite, Dominical and Epochal also offer perfect tropical environments to live in. Other areas include the Cahuita region that presents excellent Caribbean coasts with long beaches and a wide variety of activities to engage in and a friendly easy-to-immerse in Afro-Caribbean lifestyle. For lovers of nature, the Arenal region presents a perfect residence with long stretching green landscapes and volcanic mountains, lakes and rural communities that live peacefully. Enthusiasts can opt for Jaro area of Central Pacific Coast, which offers a resort town with bustling fun activities. In Costa Rica, there is no limitation on the hobbies and activities. The environment is a perfect inclusion of entertainment, urban and rural lifestyles and top quality medical care.

Advantages of living in Costa Rica

whether you are an affluent businessman or a soon-to-retire employee on pension securities, Costa Rica presents one of the best destinations for retirement. The first attraction in the area is their fantastic year-round warm weather. The environment is serene and perfect for raising families. The residents are quite friendly with a “Pura Vida” (life is good) lifestyle and attitude. The region offers bargain real estate and foreigners have the same rights as locals that are amazing. Besides, the health care is high quality and low cost, a combination that is increasingly becoming difficult to spot in other nations. Qualifying for residence as a retiree in Costa Rica is relatively easy. The Pensioned program only requires one to give $1,000 per month per couple from pension, social security or disability. The greatest benefit of this program is that residents have a government health care system (Caja) which demands a very low monthly fee. Besides, there are several established active communities distributed across the country. This means you will access a busy social life and indulge in as many hobbies as possible.

Property and surrounding

People have the liberty to stay wherever they please in Costa Rica. The real estate industry has grown tremendously mainly because this nation is a tourist hotspot. You can find all sorts of elegant design property ranging from fully furnished luxury estates with beautiful ocean views and beach properties to investment property, commercial lands and residential homes on sale. Whether you need exquisite condos or vocational rentals, farms and mountain properties, Costa Rica provides many options. Those on social security, pension, disability or other security for living in Costa Rica have the most benefits. They will enjoy top market designs and access low-cost, high-quality medical care. It is important to choose real estate agents who are experienced professionals with quality guarantee. This will ensure you enjoy bargain rates and discounts. There are a few considerations to make, and retirement plans must be keenly evaluated to prevent overpayments and undesirable installments.

Conclusion

All retirees will find Costa Rica a perfect residence for their golden years. This region is a democratic nation with heightened culture diversification, peaceful locals, and friendly smiles all over. You can engage in all activities ranging from shopping to business, hobbies, events and celebrations. The culture incorporates fun and entertainment that is common in most tourist destinations. What’s more, the country offers some of the most affordable states at the expense of state-of-the-art installations.

4 Things That Will Help Fetch the Right Resale Value for Your Property

So, you have decided to part with your home. Wondering how to get the best deal that will justify holding it is an investment property until now. Before you put up a notice for sale, or start passing the news to your near and dear, consider the fact that the reality market is some parts of the country has been sluggish.

Hence, it is worthwhile to put in a little bit of effort that will make your property look a lot more attractive to potential buyers. Here are some expert tips that will help enhance the resale value of your home by tens of thousands if not few lakhs.

Pep up the exteriors

As soon as a home is bought, homeowners spend time, money and energy in designing the interiors to their whims and fancy. What they miss to see is that, the exteriors play a major role in creating an impression in the minds of a potential buyer than the interior. It is the exterior that is first seen before they take a walkthrough of the interiors. Hence, pay attention to pepping up your exteriors in equal measure to the interiors to get a better resale value.

Creating additional space

An extra room is fine, but what if it serves no purpose? Moreover, what if that extra room does not fit into the ergonomic layout of the home properly? Instead, think of ways to increase the space inside the home. There are plenty of architect firms with interior designers and vasthu consultants who help altering the physical dimensions of any home to make it appear spacious and airy. A spacious home will fetch a higher resale price than one which boasts about a tiny and ill-fitting extra room.

Setting right minor repairs

Like drops of water that collect together to form a messy puddle, a number of unattended minor repairs can wash away a significant portion of your property’s resale value. A prospective buyer will be more interested in knowing the present physical condition and the expected longevity of the house before making a final decision.

The scene of leaking walls, falling patches and plumbing problems can definitely take a hit on the property’s sale worthiness. Hence, make sure all minor repairs are attended to on a regular basis.

Keep a cushion for price negotiation

Indians are ruthless negotiators. We love to bargain for the best deal in every transaction. Especially when it is about buying a new home expect the negotiation process to be fiercer than what you can imagine. Hence, make sure you price your property with some cushion for reduction during the negotiation process.

You might want to take into consideration the existing market rate of similar properties and how the deals have ended before fixing the price or agreeing to the price offered by the buyer.

The resale value for a property is highly dependent on various factors. Location, floor space, number of rooms and furnishings all play a major role in determining the resale price. However, other factors like well-maintained exteriors, perfectly functioning plumbing and sanitation, additional space for storage, etc. can help further increase the resale value to a higher denomination.

You Need to Know This About Home Appraisals

A home appraisal is a critical component of any real estate transaction that involves a mortgage loan. If you are refinancing you will need an appraisal, if you are selling your home to someone that needs to get a mortgage, he or she will need to have an appraisal done.

What Is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an opinion on value by a qualified, unbiased third party. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to be completed when you are refinancing your mortgage. An appraisal is also completed in a transaction when someone is buying a home to make sure they have not over paid for it.

Mortgage Lenders require appraisal to ensure that homeowners are not over paying for a property because if the borrower stops paying for the mortgage the lender will take action to remove the borrower from the home and sell it to recoup their money, this is why it is important for the home to be worth more than the money loaned. In essence, a home appraisal is a lawyer of protection for the mortgage lender.

The Appraisal Process and How Appraisal Values Are Determined

These are the main factors that influence your home’s appraisal value: current market trends which are reflected in the comparable properties the appraiser selects, the house’s features,, square footage, number rooms/bedrooms & bathrooms, condition, is the property considered up to date, landscaping and exterior condition and parking (garage). The appraiser will do an interior and exterior inspection for the above noted factors and will also make note of any deferred maintenance which will be included in the report for the lender.

The appraiser will complete his report on a standard report form that is required by their appraisal jurisdiction. The information that has to be included in an appraisal report will not vary much from Canada to the United States.

A standard report includes the following: comparable sales, a street map, building sketch, square footage, photos of the front, back and street scene of the home, photographs of each comparable property used; a map showing the location of the comparables in relation to the subject property, plot map, description of intended users of the appraisal report, photo and description of each room in the house.

The cost of a residential appraisal report ranges from $250-$500 and the homeowner is typically responsible for paying the appraiser..

What Homebuyers Need to Know

When you’re buying a home an appraisal could potentially sink your deal. If you make an offer to purchase a house, towards the end of the home buying process your mortgage lender will require that the home being purchased be appraised. If the home appraises for less than your offer to purchase the lender will not provide the loan, however, this could be good for a buyer as well because you may be able to negotiate to lower purchase price but very often at the point of the home appraisal in the buying process an agreement of purchase and sale is already in place.. If a bad appraisal is standing between you and your home purchase, look into getting a second opinion via a second appraisal. Appraisers are not perfect and it is possible for them to make mistakes.

What Home Sellers Need to Know

As a seller, a low appraisal means that you may have to lower your home’s price to get it sold. Lenders won’t approve loans for more than a home is worth, and holding out for an all-cash buyer who doesn’t require an appraisal as a condition of completing the transaction is unlikely to net you a higher sales price. No one wants to overpay for a home but more importantly a mortgage lender will not over lend on the value of a property, therefor if the appraisal comes in lower than what your buyer is offering this will likely sink your deal unless you lower the price.

What Refinancing Homeowners Need to Know

If you’re refinancing your mortgage and looking to access some of the equity in the home the appraised value is very important. Mortgage lenders will have maximum loan to value ratio that they will go up to so the larger the difference between what you owe on your current mortgage and what the home is appraised at obviously the better. Having a better loan to value ratio will also make obtaining the lowest possible mortgage rates possible. Lenders put a lot of emphasis on this ratio so a high appraisal value is very important.

The Bottom Line

The home appraisal is a very standard process these days in any real estate transaction involving a mortgage loan, it should be taken serious, you should know how the appraisal works and what the value is based upon, if you feel your home is undervalued you can speak with the appraiser and make your case or get a second opinion.