Realtors, potential sellers, and attorneys often want to know what the square footage of a property is before they proceed with any type of sale, refinance, litigation, etc. Sometimes if a property has had an add-on or renovation, or changes have been made to the gross living area of a property, it needs to be verified for accuracy.
Realtors often have a unique property, luxury property, or acreage property with ancillary improvements that require a pre-listing appraisal prior to the subject property being put on the open market for sale. Also, some properties need a pre-listing appraisal when there is limited sales data for comparables.
The Gross Living Area Measurement Process
An appraiser arrives at a property and measures the exterior of the residence from the outside brick. If there is a second floor, the appraiser measures the second floor from the inside upstairs, taking into consideration the exterior of the subject property. Appraisers measure a property in different ways but all use the same basic measurement guidelines as in the Ansi Method Measurement. The ANSI standards base floor area calculations on the exterior dimensions of the building at each floor level and include all interior walls and voids. For attached units, the outside dimension is the centerline of the common walls. Internal room dimensions aren’t used in this system of measuring.
Pre-Listing Appraisal Process
When a realtor is in need of a pre-listing appraisal for various reasons prior to listing of a property they will rely on a pre-listing appraisal from an appraiser. The appraiser will come out and perform an interior/exterior inspection of the property including measuring the property, taking photos, notes of condition/quality of construction. The appraiser determines a home’s pre-listing appraised value by looking at factors such as square feet, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, the location of the property, and the age of the property. Any improvements made to the home, as well as market conditions, will be taken into account. The listing agent or seller is responsible for paying for the cost of the appraisal. The appraiser then compares the data on your home to other comparable properties’ data and the market to arrive at your home’s pre-listing value.
Why should you hire an appraiser for a pre-listing appraisal?
Say a person is interested in potentially selling their home but have no idea what it might be worth. An appraisal is performed to determine what the possible sales price of a property would be.
A listing agent has a particularly unique property that is either the smallest or largest property in a subject’s addition and not sure what comparables to utilize. An appraiser might be hired to do a pre-listing appraisal in order to determine what the most appropriate comparables are for giving the most accurate appraised value prior to listing.
A potential seller has a property that has had several add on’s to the property but may or may not be reflected in the gross living area. A gross living area estimation is done in order to reflect the true gross living area of a property.
A listing agent has a high-end luxury property that is over 10,000 sf and every square foot is valuable. An appraiser will do a gross living area estimation in order to have an accurate square footage prior to listing the property.