Real Property Appraisals: A PrimerA home purchase can be the most significant transaction most will ever consider. It doesn't matter if it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.
Most people are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most familiar face in the exchange. Then, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the transaction. The title company ensures that all details of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.
So who makes sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? This is where you meet the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 professional appraisal from Mark A. Roberts, Certified Real Property Appraiser, will ensure you as an interested party are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal startsTo determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first perform 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 are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is proper and illustrating the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.
Once the site has been inspected, 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.
Replacement CostThis is where we analyze information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.
Paired Sales AnalysisAppraisers are intimately familiar with the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.
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. At Mark A. Roberts, we are experts in knowing the value of particular items in Lagrange and Oldham County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home sale.
Valuation Using the Income ApproachIn the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing real estate. In this case, the amount of income the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.
Putting It All TogetherCombining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value 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 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. 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 get back in case they had to put the property on the market again. Here's what it all boils down to: An appraiser from Mark A. Roberts will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.