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What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Buying a house is the most serious transaction some of us could ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to fund the deal. The title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.

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 real estate 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 Elite Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property 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.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly 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 in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace 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.

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 Elite Appraisal Services, we are an authority when it comes to knowing the value of particular items in Pearland and Brazoria County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all 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 a property's valueDepending on the specific circumstances 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Elite Appraisal Services will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.