Understanding the Appraisal Process

Their home's purchase can be the most serious investment many could ever encounter. Whether it's where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most recognizable entity in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the money needed to finance the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the purchaser is the title company.

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So, what party makes sure the property is worth the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Baseline Appraisals (440)315-6387 will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine the true status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they indeed are there and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the floorplan, ensuring the square footage is proper and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - 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 real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

This is where the appraiser pulls information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements 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. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the communities in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent transactions in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate at hand. Using knowledge of the value of 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 are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable 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 could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Baseline Appraisals (440)315-6387, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Elyria and Lorain County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - the appraiser may use an additional approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property in question. The estimate of value on the appraisal report is not necessarily what's being paid for the property 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 often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Baseline Appraisals (440)315-6387 will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.