What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the biggest investment many of us will ever consider. Whether it's a main residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most known face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital necessary to finance the exchange. And ensuring all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

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So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the property is in line with the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 Appraisal Advisors Group will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete 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 indeed exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Next, after the inspection, 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.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to calculate how much it would cost to construct a property similar to the one being appraised. This value usually 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 communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject 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 more accurately match the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Appraisal Advisors Group, we are an authority in knowing the value of real estate features in Caguas and Caguas County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use a third approach to value. In this case, the amount of income the property yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. Depending on the specific 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 often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Appraisal Advisors Group will help you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.