What Is an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most significant financial decision many of us could ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to bankroll the deal. And ensuring all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller 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, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could 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 responsibility at Appraisals by Kana, LLC is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must physically see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are present and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser identifies any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

This is where we use information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of certain features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

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 associating a value with features of homes in Lafayette and Lafayette, Appraisals by Kana, LLC is second to none. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

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 revenue the property produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of 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 seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. Regardless, 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. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Appraisals by Kana, LLC will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.