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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Getting a house can be the largest transaction many could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Then, the lender provides the money required to finance the transaction. And the title company makes sure that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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 is responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Elite Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the home inspection

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use 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

Here, the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

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

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. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Pearland and Brazoria, Elite Appraisal Services is second to none. This approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. Depending on the individual 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.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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Elite Appraisal Services will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.