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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most important transaction many people might ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to fund the transaction. And the title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

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 makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? 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 Amerappraise, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Amerappraise, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition 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 home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, we use 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, we analyze information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they work. 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 real estate at hand. 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 more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

An opinion 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 associating a value with features of homes in Bear and New Castle, Amerappraise, LLC is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

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 situation, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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 typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Amerappraise, LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.