What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase is the most important financial decision some of us could ever make. Whether it's where you raise your family, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most known face in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to fund the transaction. The title company sees to it that all details of the exchange are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the purchaser.

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So, who 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 CDM Appraisals will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly exist and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the house.

Once the site has been inspected, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other factors to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

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 transactions in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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 knowing the true worth of features of homes in Omaha and Douglas, CDM Appraisals can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing real estate is sometimes used when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of revenue the real estate produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to derive the current value.

Arriving at a Value Conclusion

Examining the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the best indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is often 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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from CDM Appraisals will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.