What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

Buying a house can be the most significant financial decision some of us may ever consider. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

You're probably familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to finance the transaction. And the title company ensures that all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

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So, who makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet 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 Powers Real Estate Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete 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 really are there 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 includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

After the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches 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 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Powers Real Estate Services, LLC, we are an authority in knowing the value of real estate features in San Tan Valley and Pinal County neighborhoods. This approach to value is most often given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, 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 put down an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending 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 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 Powers Real Estate Services, LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.