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Real Property Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase can be the biggest investment most people will ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most of the people involved are quite familiar. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money necessary to finance the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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 makes sure the value of the real estate is consistent with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might 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 Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, we pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter 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.

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. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Blackfoot and Bingham, Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 individual situations 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.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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.