Do Atlanta sellers need a home appraisal?

Do Atlanta sellers need a home appraisal?

What is a home appraisal? 

A home appraisal, also known as a real estate appraisal or a property appraisal, is an unbiased valuation of a property and all its features. When it comes to selling your house, a home appraisal is always required by Georgia law. But oftentimes, the seller does not necessarily need to get an appraisal. Usually, the buyer or the buyer’s lender will order and pay for the real estate appraisal, though sometimes it is in the seller’s best interest to get a separate home appraisal. This is the case when the seller orders a house valuation to set a competitive listing price for their property, for example. 

While most sellers can accurately price their homes based on a comparative market analysis (CMA) report that real estate agents provide for free, you may not be working with a real estate agent to sell your house in Atlanta. That is why, regardless of how you are selling your house, you should be familiar with the home appraisal process and why you might want to get one.

When should you get a home appraisal?  

When you are selling your house in Georgia, you may consider getting a home appraisal if you are: 

  • Selling your house and want up-to-date valuation 

  • Inheriting a house and need to determine value 

  • Dealing with divorce settlements

A home appraisal may be beneficial to you as a seller if you don’t know how to value your property and are trying to get an accurate assessment of what your home may be worth. 

Who does property appraisals?  

In Atlanta, there are four types of property appraisers: 

  • Registered appraisers: In Georgia, a registered appraiser, also known as a licensed real estate appraiser trainee, can make inspections and appraisal reports under the supervision of another certified appraiser.

  • Licensed appraisers: Licensed real estate appraisers in Georgia can appraise non-complex residential properties that have up to 4 units with a transaction value of less than $1 million, complex residential properties that have 1 to 4 units with a transaction value of less than $250,000, and other types of real estate properties that have a transaction value of less than $250,000.

  • Certified residential appraisers: Certified residential appraisers can appraise all types of non-complex residential properties that have 1 to 4 units, without consideration for transaction value. Additionally, certified residential appraisers can appraise non-residential properties that have a transaction value of less than $250,000.

  • Certified general appraisers: A certified general appraiser can appraise all types of property, with no limit on transaction value. These appraisers typically appraise commercial properties.

How do real estate appraisals work? 

In a full home appraisal, there are a few steps that will happen in any scenario: inspection, valuations, and reconciliation. 

  • Inspection: During a home appraisal, one of the first steps involves a full visual inspection of the house by the appraiser. After the physical inspection is complete, the appraiser then begins to collect data on the property and other information relevant to determining the value of the property.

  • Valuation: In general, there are 3 methods that appraisers will use in a home appraisal: 

    • Cost approach to value: The cost approach to value occurs when the appraiser calculates the replacement cost for all major structures. Afterwards, any accrued depreciation, improvements, and the value of the land are added to the replacement cost valuation. Adjustments are then made to ensure value estimates are within acceptable ranges determined from market activity.

    • Market approach to value: The market approach to value, also known as the sales comparison approach to value, is estimated by comparing the property with similar properties that were recently sold. After that, adjustments are made to account for any differences between the two.

    • Income approach to value: If the property produces any income, then valuation of the house is determined based on the income stream. Income and expense data is analyzed to arrive at a net income, which is then used to determine a valuation. 

  • Reconciliation: Once the inspection and the three valuations are made, the above 3 methods are used to come up with an estimated market value. Reconciliation is the process by which the appraiser will evaluate the conclusions from multiple value estimator approaches. These findings are compared, and then the differences between these findings are reconciled to arrive at one final valuation for the property.  

Do you need a home appraisal? 

When you are selling your house in Atlanta, you may not need a home appraisal. On average, the cost of a home appraisal in Georgia can be anywhere between $400–$750, according to Houzeo. This is an additional expense you may not want to pay, and it may not be necessary.

If you don’t want to pay for a home appraisal before selling your house (but you’d still like some of the benefits), one option you have is to consider selling your house to HomeVestors®. When we come over for our initial consultation, we make our own valuations based on our in-person inspections. These value estimates are based on the condition of your home as well as relevant, comparable home sales, just like they would be during an official home appraisal. The key difference is that, because our valuation is part of our seller-focused buying process, you don’t pay a thing—our consultation is completely free. So, if you’re planning to sell your house in Atlanta and want to get a home appraisal, there’s no reason not to reach out.  

How to sell your house to HomeVestors® 

HomeVestors is a cash home buyer in Atlanta with over 25 years of experience helping sellers achieve the easy home sale of their dreams. Your home sale can happen in just 3 simple steps: 

  1. Contact us: To get started, all you need to do is fill out our online form. One of our local property buyers will come by, on your schedule, for a property appraisal and answer any questions you have about us or our process.

  2. Consider our offer: After we review the features of your house and compare it with similar home sales in your neighborhood, our property specialists are able to give you a fair, competitive offer.

  3. Close on your timeline: If you accept our no-obligation offer, we can provide you with a quick closing date. Close in as little as three weeks, or later if you prefer. We don’t charge commissions or hidden fees, saving you money.

With our streamlined, seller-focused process we can lead you from consultation to closing in no time.