Home Appraisals: A Primer

Their home's purchase can be the biggest financial decision many could ever make. Whether it's a main residence, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties involved are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could 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 ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and illustrate the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

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.

Cost Approach

This is where we analyze information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • But, 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. At ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of particular items in Dallas and Dallas County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most consideration 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 - we may use a third method of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of income the real estate generates is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueThere are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing 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 they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from ASAP Appraisal Service, LLC will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.