What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Buying a home can be the most important transaction many people could ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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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 Bain & Associates, Inc. Real Estate Appraisers 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 conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look 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 real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular 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 subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract 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.

A valid estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Plano and Collin, Bain & Associates, Inc. Real Estate Appraisers can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 the event they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Bain & Associates, Inc. Real Estate Appraisers will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.