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Comprehending Appraisals

Purchasing real estate can be the most significant transaction most of us could ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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 is responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Appraisal House, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Appraisal House, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, 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

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Destin and Okaloosa, Appraisal House, Inc. is your local authority. This approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific circumstances 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 they could get back in case they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Appraisal House, Inc. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.