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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most serious financial decision some may ever consider. Whether it's a primary residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the transaction. The title company sees to it that all details of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who makes sure the real estate is worth 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 Elite Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser analyzes information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine 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. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. 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 adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Elite Appraisal Services, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Pearland and Brazoria County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by similar properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. 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 often 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Elite Appraisal Services will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.