What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Acquiring a home is the largest transaction many may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

Most of the people participating are quite familiar. The most recognizable face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to fund the deal. The title company sees to it that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who makes sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? 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 EXPERTS, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other factors to determine how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This value usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 match the features of subject.

  • 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.
  • But, 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.

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 knowing the true value of features of homes in Saint Louis and Saint Louis, APPRAISAL EXPERTS, LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as the seller's desire to get out of the property, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often employed 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 APPRAISAL EXPERTS, LLC will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.