Comprehending Appraisals

Their home's purchase is the biggest transaction most of us will ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes 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? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 A. M. Appraisals 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 duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and illustrate the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real 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, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in West Columbia and Lexington, A. M. Appraisals is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from A. M. Appraisals will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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