Real Estate Appraisals: A Primer

Buying real estate can be the biggest investment most people could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the transaction. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the sale are completed and that a clear title passes to the buyer from the seller.

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 makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price? This is where the appraiser comes in. 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 Appraisal Services of Brandon, Inc . will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

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 exist and are in the condition a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper 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, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property similar 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 become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Valrico and Hillsborough, Appraisal Services of Brandon, Inc . is your local authority. This approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third method of valuing a property. In this case, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valueDepending on the individual 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. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Appraisal Services of Brandon, Inc . will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.