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What Goes Into an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the most significant investment some people may ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or one of many rentals, the purchase of real property is an involved financial transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most recognizable face in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital necessary to fund the transaction. And ensuring all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, what party is 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 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.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly exist and are in the shape a reasonable person would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is correct and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to ascertain how much it would cost to build a property comparable to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of certain features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the subject in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, additional bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately portray the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable property has a fireplace and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of a fireplace from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Lincoln and Providence, Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc. can't be beat. This approach to value is typically given the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a property is sometimes employed when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by neighboring properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the subject property. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. 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 used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Gordon Appraisal Company, Inc. will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.