What Is an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most important financial decision most people could ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most of the people involved are very familiar. The most familiar person in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the financial capital required to bankroll the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass 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 property is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Appraisals by Kana, LLC will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Appraisals by Kana, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

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

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser researches 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 more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a fireplace and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject might 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 Lafayette and Lafayette, Appraisals by Kana, LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when an area has a measurable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable 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 document an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the most accurate indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically 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 sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Appraisals by Kana, LLC will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.