What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most serious transaction many people might ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties participating are very familiar. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money needed to finance the transaction. And ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, who makes sure the value of the property is consistent with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 South Shore Realty Advisors, Inc will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

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

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, 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 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.
  • 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.

In the end, 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 putting a value on features of homes in Marshfield and Plymouth, South Shore Realty Advisors, Inc is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

The Bottom Line

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often 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 put the property on the market again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from South Shore Realty Advisors, Inc will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.