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An Overview of the Appraisal Process

Getting real estate is the most important financial decision many of us will ever consider. Whether it's where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to see it through.

Most of the participants are very familiar. The most known person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to bankroll the deal. And the title company makes sure that all areas of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser.

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 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 Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the property inspection

Our first duty at Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc. is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and describe the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where we pull information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This estimate usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they work. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount 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. At Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc., we are an authority when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Lincoln and Providence County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing a house. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by similar properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Examining the data from all 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 most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it probably will 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.Regardless, the appraised value is often employed 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 sell the property again. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc. will guarantee you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.