A Description of the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the largest transaction some will ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most of the people involved are quite familiar. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all areas of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, what party is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from ACME Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Bluffton and Allen, ACME Appraisal can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from ACME Appraisal will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.