What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most significant transaction some people might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to finance the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

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 property is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A certified, professional appraiser from Appraisals 101, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

          Appraisal visit to verify physical characteristics

To determine the true status of the property, the appraiser needs to visit the property. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the house, the appraiser visit often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

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

Replacement Cost

Here, we gather information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, in the case where the subject has something such as an extra half bath that a comparable doesn't have, the appraiser might add the value of that bath to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Appraisals 101, LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Orange & Seminole County neighborhoods. This approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. 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 Appraisals 101, LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.