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Comprehending Appraisals

A home purchase can be the biggest financial decision many of us may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a primary residence, an additional vacation home or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

Practically all the participants are quite familiar. The real estate agent is the most known person in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the financial capital needed to fund the exchange. And ensuring all details of the sale are completed and that a clear title transfers 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, who makes sure the property is worth the amount being paid? This is where the appraiser comes in. We provide an unbiased opinion 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 Crest Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

The inspection is where an appraisal starts

Our first task at Crest Appraisal Services is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must see aspects of the property first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc, to ensure they truly are present and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the square footage is accurate and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Following the inspection, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser analyzes information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to derive how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure commonly sets the maximum 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 the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. 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 add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • If, for example, the comparable property has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may subtract the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • But, 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. When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Seattle and King, Crest Appraisal Services can't be beat. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most consideration when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

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

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. 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 a property's valueDepending 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.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. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Crest Appraisal Services will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.