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What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Acquiring real estate can be the biggest investment some of us will ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional 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.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the money required to fund the exchange. And the title company sees to it that all details of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer.

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 in line with the amount being paid? 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 Crockett Appraisal Service, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal begins

Our first task at Crockett Appraisal Service, Inc. is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

After 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, the appraiser gathers information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements 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 predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly 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 property 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if 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.
  • However, 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.

An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Colorado Springs and El Paso, Crockett Appraisal Service, Inc. is your local authority. This approach to value is most often awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property at hand. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. 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 used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in the event they had to put the property on the market again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Crockett Appraisal Service, Inc. will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.