A Description of the Appraisal Process

Purchasing a house can be the biggest financial decision most of us could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar entity in the transaction. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the transaction. And the title company makes sure that all aspects of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.

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So, what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, 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 duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and convey the layout of the house, the inspection often requires 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 property.

Once the site has been inspected, 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 uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the subdivisions in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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 subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an 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 Saint Louis and Saint Louis, APPRAISAL EXPERTS, LLC can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

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 situation, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the final sales price. There are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. But the appraised value is often used 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from APPRAISAL EXPERTS, LLC will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.