What Are the Components of an Appraisal?
Buying a house can be the most serious transaction many people will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, what party makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? This is where you meet 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 Great Estates, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
Inspecting the subject property
Our first task at Great Estates, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses 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.
Here, the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Great Estates, Inc., we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Lone Tree and Douglas County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.
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 case, the amount of revenue the property yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.
Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property 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. But 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Great Estates, Inc. will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.