What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most significant investment most people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money required to finance the transaction. The title company makes sure that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.

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So, what party makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 The Appraisal Firm will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are present 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 proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, we use 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • 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.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain 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 The Appraisal Firm, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Escondido and San Diego County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from The Appraisal Firm will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.