What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the largest investment many people may ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

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

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 amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first task at Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, 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 size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, 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.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

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 vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

After all differences have been accounted for, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to knowing the true worth of features of homes in Goldsboro and Wayne, Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight 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 approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on 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 the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service, Inc. will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.