What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the largest transaction most of us could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a seasonal vacation home or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most of the participants are quite familiar. The most familiar face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. And the title company ensures that all aspects of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

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So, what party makes sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate 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 licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Sound Appraisal Group, Inc will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first complete a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property hands on, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the property, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use 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

Here, we pull information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an 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. At Sound Appraisal Group, Inc, we are an authority in knowing the worth of real estate features in Silverdale and Kitsap County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the real estate yields is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Putting It All Together

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. It's not uncommon for prices to be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Sound Appraisal Group, Inc will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.