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What Are the Parts of an Appraisal?

Their home's purchase is the most serious transaction most may ever encounter. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a second vacation home or an investment, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

Practically all the people participating are very familiar. The most familiar person in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the lender provides the money needed to fund the transaction. And ensuring all aspects of the transaction are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller 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's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. 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 Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first duty at Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To ensure the stated size of the property is accurate and describe the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we identify any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of real property: a sales comparison, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property nearly identical to the one being appraised. This figure often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they appraise. They thoroughly 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 upgraded appliances, additional bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable 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.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

After all differences have been accounted for, 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 associating a value with features of homes in Buzzards Bay and Barnstable, Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most consideration when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third way of valuing a house. In this case, the amount of revenue the property generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the subject property. 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 valueThere are always mitigating factors such as seller motivation, urgency or 'bidding wars' that may adjust an offer or listing price up or down. Regardless, the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. At the end of the day, an appraiser from Barnstable/Plymouth Appraisal Services will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.