What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the biggest financial decision many might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Practically all the people participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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 property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer might 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 Appraisal Advisors Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first duty at Appraisal Advisors Group is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods 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 the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate 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 knowing the true worth of features of homes in Caguas and Caguas, Appraisal Advisors Group is your local authority. This approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

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 case, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by comparable properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Appraisal Advisors Group will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.