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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

A home purchase can be the largest transaction most of us could ever encounter. Whether it's a main residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a complex transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.

It's likely you are familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known person in the transaction. Then, the bank provides the financial capital necessary to fund the exchange. The title company ensures that all areas of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes 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 makes sure the real estate is worth the purchase price? 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 parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals start with the property inspection

To ascertain 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 really exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the house, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: paired sales analysis and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, labor rates and other factors to determine how much it would cost to build a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This value commonly sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions 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 close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home being appraised. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • 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.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to valuing features of homes in Buzzards Bay and , Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services can't be beat. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third method of valuing a house is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a measurable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to determine the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not necessarily the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of what a property is worth. Depending on the individual 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 employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services will guarantee you discover the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.