What Are the Components of an Appraisal?
Getting a home is the most serious transaction many could ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the money required to finance the transaction. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.
So, what party makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 Appraisal Associates will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspection
To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.
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.
This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit 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 work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Amherst and Amherst, Appraisal Associates can't be beat. This approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Putting It All Together
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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 employed 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 Appraisal Associates will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.