What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most important financial decision some of us could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Most of the participants are very familiar. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to finance the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the buyer 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, who makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet 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 Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions 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 the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

An opinion 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 Goldsboro and Wayne, Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. can't be beat. This approach to value is most often given the most consideration 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 an additional way of valuing a property. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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'. But the appraised value is typically 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.