What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Buying real estate can be the biggest investment some of us may ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to finance the exchange. And ensuring all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, who makes sure the property is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. 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 ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the home, 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.

Next, after 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.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to 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 match the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, 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 Dallas and Dallas, ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the property yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. 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. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC will help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.