What Are the Components of an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most significant transaction most may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a second vacation property or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

Most of the participants are very familiar. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to fund the transaction. And ensuring all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 JMS Appraisal will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first complete 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 ensure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect 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

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of particular features to the residents 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. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, 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 home.
  • 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.

A valid estimate 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 Aliso Viejo and Orange, JMS Appraisal can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate 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 situation, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state 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 a property's valueThere 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. 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 the event they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from JMS Appraisal will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.