What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the largest financial decision many people could ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, 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 taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to bankroll the transaction. The title company makes sure that all details of the transaction 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, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could 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.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at ACME Appraisal is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features hands on, 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 typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

An opinion of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At ACME Appraisal, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Bluffton and Allen County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of income the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valuePrices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from ACME Appraisal will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.