Comprehending Appraisals

Acquiring a house can be the largest investment some could ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most recognizable entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the money required to bankroll the deal. The title company ensures that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.

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 value of the property is in line with the purchase price? This is where you meet 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 Diversified Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To determine an accurate status of the property, it's our responsibility to first conduct a thorough inspection. We must physically see aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they really exist and are in the shape a typical person would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and illustrate 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 have an impact on the value of the house.

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

Cost Approach

Here, the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to determine how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This estimate 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 get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They innately understand the value of particular 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. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, additional bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if 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.
  • If the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an 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 Diversified Appraisal Services, we are experts in knowing the value of real estate features in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes employed when an area has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this case, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property in question. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the most reliable indication of what a house is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific circumstances 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 recover in case they had to put the property on the market again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Diversified Appraisal Services will help you get the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

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