What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most significant financial decision most people may ever make. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the transaction. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to bankroll the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller is the title company.

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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 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

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see 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. The inspection often includes a sketch of the house, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

Here, we gather information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. By assigning a dollar value to 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 more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct 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.

After all differences have been accounted for, 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 valuing features of homes in Lafayette and Lafayette, Appraisals by Kana, LLC can't be beat. This approach to value is usually awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down 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 what a property is worth. Depending on the individual situations 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 typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Appraisals by Kana, LLC will help you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.