What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most important financial decision some will ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the bank provides the money necessary to fund the deal. And the title company sees to it that all requirements of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to transfer 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, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Casa Grande Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first perform 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 truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - 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.

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of specific features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter 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. When it comes to associating a value with features of homes in Casa Grande and Maricopa, Casa Grande Appraisal Service can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

The Bottom Line

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual circumstances 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.But the appraised value is often used 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 Casa Grande Appraisal Service will guarantee you discover the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.