What Is an Appraisal?
Their home's purchase is the largest financial decision some may ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, what party is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Appraisals start with the home inspection
To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must actually see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, 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 house.
Next, 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 building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.
Paired Sales Analysis
Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At , we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in and Nevada County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often given the most importance 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 - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Coming Up With The Final Value
Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.