What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Getting a house is the biggest financial decision many might ever consider. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the exchange. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the exchange. And the title company makes sure that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from RPR Appraisal Real Estate Solutions USA Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the inspection

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first perform a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and document the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

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

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property comparable 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.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. 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.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath 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.

After all differences have been accounted for, 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 associating a value with features of homes in Oyster Bay and Nassau, RPR Appraisal Real Estate Solutions USA Inc. can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from RPR Appraisal Real Estate Solutions USA Inc. will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.