What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the largest transaction most will ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The most known entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to bankroll the exchange. The title company makes sure that all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

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So, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent 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 Graham Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually 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 typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for 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 the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match 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.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

In the end, 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 Glasgow and Barren, Graham Appraisal can't be beat. This approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property 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'. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Graham Appraisal will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.