A Description of the Appraisal Process

Getting real estate can be the most significant financial decision some people may ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Practically all the participants are very familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the exchange. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to finance the transaction. The title company sees to it that all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the purchaser.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Powers Real Estate Services, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Powers Real Estate Services, LLC 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 indeed are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is correct and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, we use 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.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, 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 an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in San Tan Valley and Pinal, Powers Real Estate Services, LLC is second to none. This approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use an additional approach to value. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document 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. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust the final price up or down. Regardless, 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Powers Real Estate Services, LLC will help you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.