What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Getting a home is the biggest investment many of us will ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to finance the deal. And ensuring all requirements of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? 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 Edwards Appraisal Service LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform a thorough inspection. We must actually see features, 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 typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage is accurate and describe the layout of the house, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit 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 work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable 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 home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Edwards Appraisal Service LLC, we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Lees Summit and Jackson County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a property is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the specific situations 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 typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Edwards Appraisal Service LLC will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.