What Is an Appraisal?

Purchasing a home can be the most important transaction some people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser.

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

So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate 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.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To determine the true 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, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the house, 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 property.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners 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 at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

A true estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Goldsboro and Wayne 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 a house is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down 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 a property's valueDepending on the specific circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.