What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase can be the most significant investment most people might ever make. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, a second vacation home or one of many rentals, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

The majority of the parties participating are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most recognizable face in the transaction. Next, the lender provides the financial capital required to fund the transaction. The title company sees to it 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 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 might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Appraisal Metrics will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

Our first responsibility at Appraisal Metrics is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, we use 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, we use information on local construction costs, labor rates and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers become very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate in question. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has an irrigation system and the subject does not, the appraiser may deduct the value of an irrigation system 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 an amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. At Appraisal Metrics, we are an authority in knowing the value of real estate features in Novi and Oakland County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing approach to value is sometimes applied when an area has a measurable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of revenue the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Analyzing the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While this amount is probably the most reliable indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the final sales price. 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 they could recover in the event they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Appraisal Metrics will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.