What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Purchasing a house is the biggest financial decision many could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. The title company ensures that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

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

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter 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 a certain amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate of what the subject could 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 commonly given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often used 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 guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.