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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the largest transaction most will ever encounter. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most of the people participating are quite familiar. The most known person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the financial capital required to fund the deal. And the title company ensures that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes 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, what party makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? 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 Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, 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.

Cost Approach

Here, we pull information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. Using knowledge of the value of 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 more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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 associating a value with features of homes in Blackfoot and Bingham, Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price 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 they could recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Advantage Appraisal Services, LLC will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.