Purchasing a home can be the most serious investment most of us might ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money necessary to bankroll the exchange. And ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.
So, who makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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.
Appraisals begin with the property inspection
Our first duty at Elite Appraisal Services 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 truly exist and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.
Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.
Analyzing Comparable Sales
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales 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 square footage, additional 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 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. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Pearland and Brazoria, Elite Appraisal Services is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.
Putting It All Together
Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price 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 help you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.