Comprehending Appraisals

Their home's purchase is the most serious investment many of us may ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most of the participants are quite familiar. The most familiar face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to finance the transaction. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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 real estate is worth the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Steven W Backer, Appraiser/Consultant will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility 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 condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and illustrate the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for 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 the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

Here, we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum 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 neighborhoods in which they work. 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 home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace 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 worth of features of homes in Somers and Flathead, Steven W Backer, Appraiser/Consultant can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly 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 an additional approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. 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 what a property is worth. Depending 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 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 sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Steven W Backer, Appraiser/Consultant will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.